The TJX Companies, the off-price retailer of apparel and home fashions, announced results for its second quarter ended July 28, 2001. Net income was $112m and diluted earnings per share were $.40 versus last year's $114m, or $.39 per share. Net sales for the second quarter increased 10 per cent to $2.5bn, with consolidated comparable store sales up two per cent.

For the first half of fiscal 2002, net income was $236m and diluted earnings per share were $.84, as compared to $245m, or $.83 per share last year. Net sales for the six month period reached $4.8bn, a nine per cent increase over $4.4bn last year. Year-to-date consolidated comparable store sales increased one per cent over last year.

Edmond English, president and CEO of The TJX Companies, commented: "Although our second quarter results were below our original expectations, the strong underlying fundamentals of our business have once again enabled us to compete effectively in what has been a very difficult and highly promotional retail environment.

"Our disciplined inventory management strategies have allowed us to take advantage of the many opportunities in the marketplace and continue to offer compelling values to our customers. The trend of our business going into the second half of the year is positive as we have seen strengthening in important apparel categories.

"At The Marmaxx Group, the combined entity of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, comparable store sales for the second quarter increased by two per cent. Second quarter operating profit rose slightly above last year. We were pleased that our business gained momentum in June and July after a slow start due to unseasonably cool weather in May.

"Apparel categories in general have picked up considerably. We are particularly pleased with the strong performance of junior's and children's apparel which bodes well for the back-to-school season. We are on track to achieve our plans to net 75 new stores between T.J. Maxx and Marshalls this year.

"Winners' Apparel, in Canada, posted a below-plan three per cent comparable store sales increase in the second quarter and operating income was below last year. Winners' profit performance was affected by the negative margin impact of running with higher than anticipated inventories. We are focused on remedying this inventory liquidity issue in the months ahead.

"We are delighted with the immediate and strong customer response to our new Canadian home fashions concept, HomeSense. This business recorded sales during the second quarter which were 56 per cent above what we anticipated.

"T.K. Maxx, our European division, posted an eight per cent comparable store sales increase over nine per cent growth last year and achieved a significant increase in operating income.

"We are seeing great performance in both new and existing T.K. Maxx stores. T.K. Maxx's popularity continues to grow and we are on track to open 30 stores this year in the UK and Ireland. This represents a 40 per cent increase in T.K. Maxx's store base.

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