Nordstrom reported net earnings of $149 million for the first quarter ended April 28, 2012. This is an increase of 2.9 percent compared with net earnings of $145 million for the same quarter last year. First quarter same-store sales increased 8.5 percent and net sales were $2.53 billion.
Nordstrom’s first quarter performance was at par with company expectations. The net sales, which include results from the full-line and direct businesses, increased $191 million, or 10.8 percent, compared with the same period in fiscal 2011. Full-line same-store sales increased 5.6 percent compared with the same period in fiscal 2011. The South and Midwest regions were the top-performing geographic areas relative to the first quarter of 2011.
The direct channel sales growth showed an increase of 44.2 percent, significantly outpacing the company’s performance on e-commerce. Nordstrom Rack net sales increased $91 million, compared with the same period in fiscal 2011, with same-store sales up 6.8 percent. Gross profit, as a percentage of net sales, decreased 31 basis points compared with last year’s first quarter.
Retail selling, general and administrative expenses increased $110 million, or 18 percent, compared with last year’s first quarter. Earnings before interest and taxes increased $8 million to $280 million from $272 million in last year’s first quarter due to increased sales, partially offset by costs related to the company’s initiatives to drive continued growth in e-commerce.
Return on invested capital (ROIC) for the 12 months ended April 28, 2012, was 13.1 percent, compared with 13.6 percent achieved in the prior 12-month period. The decline was largely a function of higher average cash balances relative to the prior period.
Nordstrom, based in U.S as a fashion specialty retailer, was founded in 1901 as a shoe store in Seattle. Today Nordstrom operates 231 stores in 31 states, including 117 full-line stores, 110 Nordstrom Racks, two Jeffrey boutiques, one treasure&bond store and one clearance store. Additionally, the company operates in the online private sale marketplace through its subsidiary HauteLook.