Charlotte-based apparel retailer Cato Corp. reported Thursday that its profit fell 22 percent in the fourth quarter, as a slight rise in sales was outpaced by higher expenses.
Cato faced a very difficult year in 2012, said CEO John Cato, in a statement. The already weak economic environment was further impacted by political uncertainty, tax changes and higher costs that negatively impacted our customer.
For the fourth quarter, profits at Cato fell to $7.9 million. The companys revenue increased 4.6 percent from the same quarter a year ago, to $234 million, but expenses increased 6 percent. And on a comparable basis of 14 weeks, adjusted for a different quarter length last year, Catos total sales fell 4 percent. Sales at stores open for a year or more considered a key indicator of a retailers health fell 7 percent.
Catos sales increased 1 percent for the full year, to $934 million, but profits fell 5 percent, to $61.7 million.
Cato, headquartered off South Boulevard near I-485, operates 1,310 stores in 31 states, including Cato, Versona, and Its Fashion stores.