Ross Stores reported sales of $456 million for the five weeks ended April 2, 2005, a 13% increase above the $404 million in sales for the five weeks ended April 3, 2004. Comparable store sales for the month rose 3% on top of a 7% gain in the prior year.
For the nine weeks ended April 2, 2005, sales totaled $767 million, a 14% increase above the $670 million in sales for the nine weeks ended April 3, 2004. Comparable store sales for the nine weeks ended April 2, 2005 grew 4% on top of a 4% increase in the prior year.
In commenting, Michael Balmuth, Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “March sales performed slightly ahead of our expectations, benefiting from solid sales of fresh spring receipts. However, as noted on our March 16th conference call, gross margin is being pressured by higher markdowns needed to clear out residual clearance merchandise from 2004. As a result, we continue to maintain our prior earnings per share forecast for the 13 weeks ending April 30, 2005 of $.33 to $.36. This forecast also assumes April same store sales perform in line with our current plan for a 2% to 3% increase on top of a 2% gain in the prior year.”