Profits soar at Pier 1

FORT WORTH, Texas — Pier 1 Imports reported a comparable-store sales increase of 10.2% and net income of $14.1 million, or 12 cents per share, for the first quarter, as it continues to implement its three-year growth plan. For the prior year first quarter, the company reported net income of $7.7 million, or 7 cents per share.

Alex Smith, president and CEO, commented, "We are very pleased with the results of our first quarter. We continue to see strength and sustainability in all aspects of our business - top line sales growth, strong merchandise margins, prudent cost controls, operating margin improvement, a strong balance sheet and ongoing cash generation. All have benefited from the creativity and rigor embedded in our organization. We are reinvesting into the business and initializing our share repurchase program as cash continues to be generated."

Total sales for the first quarter were $334.6 million, a 9.3% increase from $306.3 million in the year-ago quarter.