MATTHEWS, N.C. — Family Dollar Stores said Wednesday that comparable-store sales in the fourth quarter came in below expectations as shoppers remained economically stressed and the company lapped sales-driving initiatives from the prior year.


CONNECT WITH SN ON TWITTER

Follow @SN_News for updates throughout the day.


Such trends would likely continue during its current first quarter, the discounter added, saying it expects comps to decrease in the quarter and gain only slightly for the year. Consumer uncertainty around the ongoing government shutdown is also likely to negatively affect spending.

Expense control and reduced inventories helped net income to increase by 26.3% to $102.2 million for the fourth quarter, which ended Aug. 31, while total sales increased 5.8% to $2.5 billion.

Read more: Family Dollar Q3 Earnings Flat

For the fiscal year, Family Dollar reported net income of $440.4 million, a 2.6% increase, on $10.4 billion sales. Total sales increased by 11.4%.

“Fiscal 2013 was more challenging that we originally planned,” Howard Levine, Family Dollar’s chief executive officer, said in a conference call reviewing results. “We expect that many of the headwinds faced by our customers will persist: High unemployment levels, higher taxes and continued uncertainty in Washington will likely to continue to pressure our customers’ income.”

Suggested Categories More from Supermarketnews