• Q4 net income rises 8% to US$7.9m
  • Full-year 2010 net income up 26% to a record $57.7m
  • Sales for fiscal fourth quarter increase 3%

US retailer The Cato Corporation has reported full-year earnings up a quarter, despite a slower fourth quarter due to markdowns.

The company's sales for 2010 were $913.9m, an increase of 5% over 2009 sales of $872.1m. For the year, same-store sales increased 3%.

"Cato delivered record earnings in 2010, the company's third straight year of strong growth, by continuing to offer our customers great fashion and customer service at a great value," said John Cato, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "Weaker than expected sales over the last half of the fourth quarter created higher than expected markdowns and negatively impacted the quarter's results."

For 2010, gross margin increased 140 basis points to 38.1% of sales due to higher merchandise margin as a result of lower markdowns.

Cato said 2011 will continue to be impacted by the "uncertainty surrounding the country's economic environment including slow job growth and the negative impact of inflation in food and gasoline prices on consumers".

The company also expects rising raw material and freight costs to have a negative effect on the company's performance in 2011, primarily in the second half of the year.

Click here to view the company's results in full.