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Pier 1 says third-quarter sales increased 10.9 percent

Pier 1 Imports said today that third-quarter sales increased by 10.9 percent, despite the effects of Hurricane Sandy, and comparable-store sales increased by 7.9 percent.

The Fort Worth-based home furnishings retailer said sales for the three months ended Nov. 24 totaled $425 million, compared to $383 million in the year-ago quarter.

The company attributed the sales growth to increased store traffic and higher average ticket sales, while quarterly merchandise margins at the store level were essentially flat.

Third-quarter earnings per share are expected to be approximately 22 cents a share (GAAP) and 25 cents (non-GAAP) compared to 21 cents last year. Third-quarter results are scheduled to be released on Dec. 13.

About 225 stores were temporarily closed due to Hurricane Sandy, primarily from power outages in affected areas, and 50 stores operated on reduced hours. All of the stores were reopened and fully operational by the end of the second week of November, except for one store on Long Island.

Alex W. Smith, Pier 1's president and CEO, said: "We’re pleased to deliver strong sales growth this quarter, as customers responded particularly well to our fall assortments. Excluding the impact of Hurricane Sandy, we estimate that third quarter comp store sales would have increased slightly over 9%."

He also said the chain had "a terrific start to the holiday season, including a very strong Thanksgiving weekend."

-- Steve Kaskovich


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