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Sales, profits rise at Belk

Charlotte-based department store company Belk Inc. said sales and profits both rose in its most recent quarter, despite what the company’s CEO called a “softening retail environment.”

Belk said Wednesday that sales were up 3.6 percent from the same quarter last year, to $899.5 million. Profits rose 11.3 percent, to $30.5 million.

Chief executive Tim Belk said the company is seeing a return on investments it has made, such as increasing its e-commerce capacity.

“Although we continue to see a softening retail environment, we are pleased to report another quarter of sales and earnings growth driven in part by the investments we are making in the business,” said Belk, in a statement.

Sales at stores open for a year or more, considered a key measure of a reatiler’s health, were up 3.2 percent. The company’s e-commerce sales were up 48.5 percent from the same quarter a year ago.

For the first six months of Belk’s fiscal year, however, Belk’s profits were down 13 percent, to $58.7 million. Belk said the expense of its investments in the business and a lower profit margin rate were to blame.

Portillo: 704-358-5041 On Twitter @ESPortillo
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