• Q4 net profit down 7.3% to US$10.1m
  • Sales down 1% to $221.5m
  • CEO highlights “difficult” H2

Value-led clothing retailer The Cato Corporation recorded a 7% drop in fourth quarter profit, impacted by a slight revenue decline and a 4% fall in comparable store sales.

For the full year, sales were up 1% to $920.6m and comparable store sales declined by 1%, yielding net income of $64.8m, up 10%.

“The second half of the year was very difficult both in terms of the sales environment and the increased merchandise costs we faced,” said John Cato, chairman, president and CEO.

“In the fourth quarter, sales were below expectations but we were able to generate earnings within our original guidance.”

The company is forecasting same store sales flat to down 2% for fiscal 2012, alongside net income of $61.3-65.9m.