Charlotte-based Belk, Inc. reported Thursday that its sales and profits grew in fiscal 2012, as the retailer completed its rebranding efforts and remodeled dozens of stores.
The department store chain said sales increased to $3.7 billion in fiscal 2012, up 5.3 percent compared to the year before. Profits rose 43.5 percent, to $183.1 million.
Our financial performance last year was one of the strongest ever for Belk, said CEO Tim Belk, in a statement. We are encouraged about the year ahead.
Sales at stores open a year or more, considered a key measure of a retailers health, grew 5.5 percent. Belk said sales of womens shoes, childrens goods and home goods grew at the fastest rate.
The company completed remodeling projects of varying scope at dozens of its 303 stores, including the flagship store at SouthPark mall. Belk is spending $4.5 million to open an online order-fulfillment center in Jonesville, S.C., which will open this June, as it continues its push to grow online sales.
Belk also declared a 75 cents per share dividend and a repurchase of 2,450,000 shares of stock, at a price of $40.80 a share. Most of Belks stock is privately held, largely by the Belk family. Last year, Belk completed a $55 million stock buyback at a price of $33.70 a share.
Portillo: 704-358-5041On Twitter @ESPortillo