FINANCE

Hastings Entertainment 1Q Profit Tumbles

BY CSA STAFF

Amarillo, Texas, Hastings Entertainment’s profit plunged 62% in the first quarter. For the three months ended April 30, Hastings earned $754,000, or 6? per share, compared to $2 million, or 17? per share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue rose 2% to $129.1 million from $126.9 million, which included a 4% increase in merchandise revenue to $104.9 million and a 6% drop in video-rental revenue to $25.8 million. The company said the rental decline was in line with an industrywide shift toward buying, rather than renting.

Merchandise sales decreased for music and books, mostly due to weaker releases than a year ago, the company said. Video sales grew slightly, but were significantly below year-ago levels. Video-game sales rose sharply, as did sales of accessory items, including body jewelry, footwear and novelty T-shirts.

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Bigger Footprint for HEB

BY CSA STAFF

San Antonio, H.E. Butt Grocery Co. will open larger stores next year in response to competition from big-box competitors, according to the San Antonio Express News. The chairman of the supermarket chain, Charles C. Butt, told the newspaper that the company will open 160,000-sq.-ft. stores in Texas next year, with locations in Corpus Christi, Round Rock and San Antonio.

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Dillard’s Aims to Sell More House Brands

BY CSA STAFF

Little Rock, Ark., Dillard’s Inc. plans to increase profits by selling more house brands and emphasizing the value of its fashion apparel, the department store chain’s president, Alex Dillard, said at its annual meeting on Saturday. The company plans nine new stores for 2005.

With 329 stores in 29 states, mostly in the South and West, Dillard’s is viewed as a logical acquisition target. But Dillard would not address the possibility at the meeting.

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