by Stephen Garner

TJXLeading off-price retailer The TJX Companies, Inc. has reported another strong fourth quarter and fiscal year.

Net sales for the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2017 increased 6 percent to $9.5 billion, over an 8 percent increase last year. Consolidated comparable store sales for the fourth quarter increased 3 percent, over last year’s 6 percent increase. Net income for the fourth quarter was $678 million and diluted earnings per share were $1.03, a 4 percent increase over the prior year’s $.99.

For the 52-week fiscal year ended January 28, 2017, net sales were $33.2 billion, a 7 percent increase over last year’s 6 percent increase. Consolidated comparable store sales increased a strong 5 percent, over last year’s 5 percent increase. Net income for the fiscal year was $2.3 billion and diluted earnings per share were $3.46, a 4 percent increase over last year’s $3.33. Excluding a third quarter debt extinguishment charge and pension settlement charge, which combined reduced earnings per share by $.07 per share, adjusted earnings per share were $3.53, a 6 percent increase over the prior year’s $3.33.

“The year 2016 was another terrific year for TJX on top of many great years! We were proud to mark our 40-year milestone as a company and surpass $33 billion in sales,” said Ernie Herrman, president and CEO of The TJX Companies, Inc. “We were particularly pleased that customer traffic was the primary driver of our comp increases at every major division, which tells us that our eclectic merchandise mix and amazing values continue to resonate with consumers across our geographies. It was also great to see a strong increase in our merchandise margin, over a very solid increase last year. The year 2016 also marked our 21st consecutive year of comp sales increases! We were also very pleased to end the year with above-plan fourth quarter results. Once again, comp sales were driven by customer traffic and our merchandise margin was up. Our fourth quarter and full year results give us great confidence that we are growing our customer base around the world and gaining market share across all our divisions!”

Herrman continued, “Looking ahead, we see many opportunities to continue our successful growth and are pursuing many initiatives to keep driving shoppers to our stores. We are making strategic investments in our infrastructure, stores, and new seeds to strengthen our leadership positions and allow us to capture additional market share in the U.S. and internationally. Our management team is laser focused on achieving our 2017 plans and, as always, passionate about surpassing them. We have a clear, long-term vision for growth and are confident that we have the right strategy, culture and people in place as we continue to grow TJX as the only major international off-price retailer in the world!”