Sherry Lang - Senior Vice President of Global Communications
TJX Companies Inc. (TJX) April 2012 Sales/Trading Statement May 3, 2012 ET
Good morning. This is Sherry Lang, Senior Vice President of Global Communications for The TJX Companies. Today is May 3, 2012, and I would like to welcome you to our Investor Call to discuss our April 2012 sales.
Before I begin, please note that the forward-looking statements I make today about the company's results, expectations and plans are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and actions to vary materially. These risks and uncertainties are discussed in the company's SEC filings including, without limitation, the Form 10-K filed March 27, 2012. Further, these comments are copyrighted by The TJX Companies. Any recording, rebroadcast, reproduction or other use of these comments for profit or otherwise without prior consent of TJX is prohibited and a violation of the United States copyright laws [Operator Instructions].
Now to recap the numbers. Sales for the 4-week period ended April 28, 2012, were $1.8 billion, up 7% over the $1.7 billion achieved during the 4-week period ended April 30, 2011. For the 13 weeks ended April 28, 2012, sales reached $5.8 billion, an 11% increase over last year's $5.2 billion.
Consolidated comparable store sales for April 2012 increased 6%, well above our plan and over a 5% increase last year. For the 13-week year-to-date period, consolidated comp store sales increased 8%, also well ahead of plan. It is terrific to see our strong momentum continue, especially on top of our most challenging comparison of the quarter.
Once again, in April, our consolidated comparable store sales increase of 6% was driven by significant increases in customer traffic, speaking to the attraction of our compelling value proposition. We are particularly pleased that all of our businesses in the U.S., Canada and Europe continued to perform well. It's also important to note that every week of the month was on or above plan. We remain bullish on our ability to take advantage of buying opportunities in the marketplace and to offer consumers ever-changing quality brands and fashion looks at excellent values.
As to guidance, with above-plan sales in April and strong flow-through to the bottom line, we are once again raising our outlook for first quarter earnings per share and now expect EPS to be approximately $0.54. For the full year fiscal 2013, we are now expecting EPS to be in the range of $2.26 to $2.36.
Now divisional comp store sales for April and the first quarter were as follows. Beginning with our U.S. divisions. At the Marmaxx Group, comp store sales increased by 5% in April, significantly above our expectations and achieved over strong increases in the 2 prior years. For the first quarter, Marmaxx comp store sales increased by 8%, again, over challenging comparisons in the last 2 years. I will go into further detail on Marmaxx in a moment.
At HomeGoods, comp store sales increased by a strong 8% in April over large increases in the 2 prior years. For the first quarter, HomeGoods comp store sales increased by 9%, also over very strong increases in the 2 prior years. HomeGoods was ahead of plan in every week of the month, and it's terrific to see the consistency in this business and its momentum continue.
Now to TJX Canada. At Winners and HomeSense combined, comp store sales increased 4% in April over last year and 6% in the first quarter versus the year-ago period. We're pleased with our solid performance in Canada and believe this division is in an excellent position for the remainder of 2012.
Moving to TJX Europe. At T.K. Maxx and HomeSense combined, comp store sales increased by a strong 10% in April. For the first quarter, comps in Europe increased 13%. It is worth noting that TJX Europe achieved these results despite what was deemed by the government weather service to be the wettest month in over 100 years in the U.K. and on top of very favorable weather last year.
To give some additional color to April's results at the Marmaxx Group, geographically, we saw broad based strength across the country. The Southwest and Florida exceeded the chain's average. The Southeast, Midwest and the West Coast were right in line with the chain. New England and the mid-Atlantic trailed the chain. As to merchandise categories in April at Marmaxx, apparel and home both did well. Our apparel comp was up 5% even with the cooler weather in the month, and home fashions were up 3%.
Summing up, it's great to be off to such a strong start in the year, and we're excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. To recap guidance, we're now expecting first quarter EPS to be approximately $0.54 and full year fiscal 2013 EPS to be in the range of $2.26 to $2.36, both above our recently raised guidance and representing a substantial increase over last year.
We will be reporting first quarter earnings on May 15. We will also provide specific guidance for second quarter earnings per share at that time as well as expected monthly comp sales for May, June and July. We will report May sales on May 31, 2012. [Operator Instructions] Thank you, and have a good day.