COMMERCE, Calif. — 99 Cents Only Stores here said Friday fresh produce, grocery and discretionary non-food categories were the primary sales drivers during the first quarter.

Net income for the 13-week quarter, which ended June 29, was $3.2 million, compared with a loss the previous year, while adjusted EBITDA fell 9.4% to $35.5 million and EBITDA margins slipped to 8.2% from 9.8% a year ago. Sales for the quarter climbed 8.2% to $433.9 million, and same-store sales increased 3.1%, including a 1.7% increase in transactions and a 1.4% increase in average ticket size.

The company said the 1.3% comp increase was up against a 4.5% increase in last year's first quarter, noting that the shift of Easter to the company's fourth quarter negatively impacted same-store sales by approximately 180 basis points.


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Frank Schools, senior vice president and chief financial officer, said 99 Cents Only plans to open approximately 30 new stores this year, all in existing markets. The chain opened six new stores during the first quarter and anticipates eight openings in the second quarter.

99 Cents only currently operates 322 stores, including 235 in California, 41 in Texas, 29 in Arizona and 17 in Nevada.

The company's capital budget for fiscal 2014 will be $69 million, of which $44 million will go to new stores and remodelings; $14 million to information technology projects, and $11 million to other projects.

Read more: 99 Cents Only Delays Financial Filing

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