(Adds details, shares)
March 1 Dollar Tree Inc, the biggest
U.S. dollar-store chain, reported better-than-expected quarterly
profit and sales on Wednesday, helped by lower costs and higher
customer spending in its stores.
Shares of the retailer, which also owns the Family Dollar
chain, rose 5 percent to $80.05 in premarket trading.
Dollar stores such as Dollar Tree and rival Dollar General
Corp have expanded rapidly in recent years, taking market
share from Wal-Mart Stores Inc and others, thanks to
smaller store sizes, a wider variety of products and prices
starting at $1.00.
However, Wal-Mart and peer Target Corp are fighting
back and seeking to cut food prices. Target on Tuesday signaled
it would rely more on low prices at the cost of margins to
better compete with rivals.
Sales at Dollar Tree stores open for more than a year rose
2.3 percent on a constant-currency basis in the fourth quarter
ended Jan. 28, slightly above the 2.1 percent that analysts
polled by research firm Consensus Metrix had expected.
Net income rose to $321.8 million, or $1.36 per share, from
$229 million, or 97 cents per share, a year earlier.
Net sales rose 5 percent to $5.64 billion, as more customers
visited its stores and also spent more on average.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.32 per share
and revenue of $5.62 billion, according to Thomson Reuters
(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai