• Fourth quarter net income fell 2% to US$730m
  • Sales grew 7.2% to $9.35bn
  • Full-year net income grew 6.3% to $1.3bn

US department store operator Macy's saw fourth quarter net profit fall on the back of debt related expenses, but offered an upbeat outlook for continued sales growth in 2013.

The company today (26 February) said net income fell to US$730m over the quarter ended 2 February, down 2% on the same period of the prior year. During the three months, the company said it incurred US$133m in pre-tax expenses related to the early retirement of $700m of outstanding debt.

Sales grew 7.2% over the quarter to $9.35bn, rising 3.9% on a comparable basis.

Full-year net income increased 6.3% to $1.3bn, as sales grew 4.9% to $27.6bn, and were up 3.7% on a comparable basis.

"2012 was another great year in our company's evolving story of growth. The numbers reflect our success in pursuing the right strategies, and executing them with conviction in every part of the business with a talented team we consider to be the best in retailing," said chairman, president and CEO Terry Lundgren.

The company is forecasting 3.5% same-store sales growth for the 2013 fiscal year, with planned capital expenditures of around $925m. Guidance for earnings per diluted share in fiscal 2013 is $3.90 to $3.95, up on the $3.24 share reported for 2012.

"The best news of all is that we continue to see significant upside opportunity ahead in those strategies that have worked so well since we reorganised the company in 2009.

"Going into 2013, our team is moving ahead with new plans and actions to sharpen our approach to localised merchandise assortments and marketing, which we continue to believe is Macy's sustainable competitive advantage.

"We are accelerating progress in omnichannel strategies at Macy's and Bloomingdale's to bring together our efforts in stores, online and mobile in a manner that satisfies emerging shopping patterns and capitalises on the strength of our inventory regardless of where the customer demand occurs.

"And we are engaging shoppers in a manner that engenders loyalty and builds our business with each individual customer," added Lundgren.