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Kroger Q4 profit up 9%

BY CSA STAFF

Cincinnati — Kroger Co. said Thursday that its fourth-quarter net income jumped 9.2% while sales rose 7.4%. It also announced that its board authorized a $1 billion stock repurchase plan.

Net income was $278.8 million, compared with $255.4 million in the year-ago period. Quarterly revenue rose to $19.9 billion, with same-store sales up 3.8%.

Kroger offered a cautious outlook for the current year, saying rising fuel costs are likely to take a bite out of household budgets.

Kroger said total sales rose 7.1% for the year. Excluding fuel, its sales rose 3.4%. Same-store sales rose 2.8% for the year, excluding fuel.

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Foot Locker Q4 income more than doubles

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Foot Locker’s fourth-quarter net income more than doubled to $57 million on fewer charges and improved revenue.

The company reported a 5% increase in sales for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2010, to $1.39 billion, up from $1.33 billion in the year-ago period. Same-store sales rose 7.3%.

Foot Locker reported net income of $169 million for the full year. That compares with net income of $48 million, in 2009.

The company opened 43 stores and closed 117 in fiscal 2010. Its total store count fell to 3,426 as of Jan. 29, compared with 3,500 a year earlier.

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Collective Brands narrows loss in Q4

BY CSA STAFF

Topeka, Kan. — Collective Brands, the parent company of Payless ShoeSource, said Wednesday that its net loss narrowed slightly in the fourth quarter as sales improved in its wholesale unit. The performance beat Wall Street expectations.

For the three months ended Jan. 29, Collective Brands lost $10.1 million, compared with a loss of $10.9 million in the year-ago period.

Net sales increased 4% to $773.8 million, boosted by growth in the company’s wholesale segment and international stores. Comparable-store sales — including international locations — rose 0.4%.

Collective Brands said an increase in price markdowns and higher product and freight costs cut into its sales.

Full year 2010 net income was $112.8 million.

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