• Q4 profit grows 1.6% to US$322m 
  • Sales up 6.8% to $4.49bn 
  • Same store sales climb 1.3%
Sales were up 6.8% to $4.49bn during the fourth quarter

Sales were up 6.8% to $4.49bn during the fourth quarter

US discount retailer Dollar General has reported a slight increase in fourth-quarter profit, despite the impact of severe winter weather and subsequent store closures.

"Sales in the fourth quarter were impacted by severe winter weather, including many days with significant store closures, an aggressive competitive retail landscape and our customers' uncertainty about spending in the current economic environment," said chairman and CEO Rick Dreiling.

"In spite of these headwinds, both customer traffic and average ticket increased in our same-stores in the fourth quarter. In addition, we controlled our expenses well and successfully managed the business to deliver a gross margin rate that was better than we anticipated."

That said, gross margin during the three months to 31 January fell 58 basis points to 31.9%, as the company sold more lower margin consumables, including tobacco products, which contributed to lower initial markups.

During the full year, the company's net income increased 7.6% to $1.03bn, while sales grew 9.2% to $17.5m and same store sales rose 3.3%.