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Lowe’s Companies Inc. (Mooresville, N.C.) reported a 19.7 percent increase in net earnings for the second quarter ended July 29, 2005. For the six months ended July 29, net earnings grew 24 percent.

Sales for the quarter increased 17.3 percent and same-store sales increased 6.5 percent. For the six months, sales increased 15.9 percent and same-store sales increased 5.2 percent.

“Building on the strong sales trends we experienced in April, our stores delivered solid comparable store sales across all three months of the quarter,” said chairman, president and ceo Robert Niblock. “Comp sales above our original guidance were driven by our Big 3 sales initiatives of installed sales, special order sales and sales to commercial business customers, all of which remain core to our performance. Successful traffic-driving marketing campaigns, in conjunction with great merchandising and store execution, led to comparable store increases in both average ticket and transaction counts in the quarter.”

During the quarter, Lowe’s opened 27 new stores, including one relocation. As of July 29, Lowe’s operated 1138 stores in 49 states representing 129.4 million square feet of retail selling space, a 13.7 percent increase over last year. The company said it expects to open 34 stores, reflecting square footage growth of approximately 13 percent, in the third quarter.



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