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Foot Locker 2018 sales hit new record

Foot Locker

Foot Locker reported fourth quarter results that best expectations, as comparable sales lifted by double-digits and annual sales hit a new record in 2018.

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The New York-based company said that total sales for the fourth quarter increased 2.8 percent, to $2.27 billion in 2018, while comparable sales surged by 9.7 percent, more than double what analysts predicted, according to Bloomberg.

For the three months ending February 2, net income grew to $158 million, or $1.39 per share, compared to a net loss of $49 million, or $0.40 per share, for the for the same quarter last year.

Meanwhile, sales in 2018 for Foot Locker hit $7.94 billion, or an increase of 2 percent — the highest in the company’s history as an athletic business.

Full-year comparable sales increased 2.7 percent or 1.7 percent, excluding the effect of foreign currency fluctuations. Yearly net income increased to $541 million in 2018, or $4.66 per share, compared to $284 million, or $2.22 per share in 2017.

Foot Locker highlighted the positive impact of fewer promotions, and an accelerated apparel business for the company’s success. Apparel margins surpassed footwear margins during the quarter, with items such as branded t-shirts and NBA merchandise performing the best, Foot Locker’s CEO, Richard Johnson said on Friday.

“The strong growth in footwear was fuelled by the strength of a marquise business that is more diverse than ever, with a great mix of running and basketball styles,” Johnson said on an earnings conference call.

“Our kid is motivated by the coolest product,” said Johnson. “We’re going to continue to drive heat through cool products.”

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Looking ahead, Foot Locker said it plans to invest $175 million in its store locations in 2019, including the renovation of current stores and the opening 80 new stores.

The company said it will close some 165 existing stores, mostly in the U.S. and Europe, without making reference to Asia or Oceania stores.