business news in context, analysis with attitude

  • Dollar General Corporation has reported fiscal 2003 net income of $301.0 million, an increase of 13.6 percent compared to net income of $264.9 million in 2002. For the 2003 fiscal year, net sales totaled $6.87 billion, an increase of 12.6 percent over fiscal 2002 sales of $6.10 billion. Same-store sales were up four percent.

  • The UK's fourth largest grocery chain, William Morrison Supermarkets, reported that annual pre-tax profits were up 13.2 percent in 2003 to the equivalent of $583.8 million (US) - unrelated to its recently completed acquisition of Safeway Plc. Total sales for the year were $9.7 billion (US), up 15.3 percent from the previous year.

  • Kmart Holding Corp. posted its first quarterly profit since emerging from bankruptcy, earning $276 million in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 28, compared with a loss of $1.1 billion a year earlier. Total sales, because of store closings, dropped 25.8 percent to $6.3 billion. Same-store sales were off 13.5 percent.

KC's View:
We never thought it would happen…Kmart actually got more efficient. (could it have been less efficient than it used to be?) But we're still not sure this adds up to long-term survival.