GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. — Dollar General Corp. reported higher-than-expected sales and earnings for the second quarter, and boosted its projections for the year despite an expected increase in transportation and distribution costs and uncertainty caused by the Delta variant.
Net sales decreased 0.4% to $8.7 billion in the second quarter, but still beat analysts’ expectations. The net sales decrease was primarily driven by a decline in same-store sales, as well as the impact of store closures, partially offset by positive sales contributions from new stores.
Same-store sales decreased 4.7% compared to the second quarter of 2020, driven by a decline in customer traffic, partially offset by an increase in the average transaction amount. Same-store sales in the quarter included a decline in each of the consumables, seasonal, apparel, and home products categories. Same-store sales were up 14.1% on a two-year stack basis.
The company reported net income of $637 million for the second quarter of 2021, a decrease of 19.1% compared to $787.6 million in the second quarter of 2020. Diluted earnings per share decreased 13.8% to $2.69 for the second quarter of 2021 compared to diluted EPS of $3.12 in the second quarter of 2020. Analysts had predicted earnings of $2.59 per share.
“During the quarter, we made significant progress on many key initiatives, including the completion of our initial rollout of DG Fresh and the opening of our first pOpshelf store-within-a-store concept,” Vasos said. “In addition, we executed more than 750 real estate projects, including new store openings in our pOpshelf concept and larger-footprint Dollar General formats. We remain focused on delivering value and convenience for our customers, while driving long-term sustainable growth and value for our shareholders. We feel very good about the underlying strength of the business, and we are excited about our plans for the second half of fiscal 2021.”
The company reiterated plans for 2,900 real estate projects in fiscal 2021, including 1,050 new store openings, 1,750 store remodels and 100 store relocations.