MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Target Corp., the nation's second-largest discount department store chain, said Thursday that first-quarter profit climbed 15 percent on robust sales growth.
The company earned $494 million, or 55 cents per share, in the three months ended April 30, up from $432 million, or 47 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected 53 cents per share on sales of $11.53 billion.
Revenue grew 13 percent to $11.48 billion from $10.18 billion on the strength of new store openings and a 6.2 percent sales increase at stores open at least a year. Target added 81 stores during the past year for a total of 1,330.
Also, its credit card operations contributed $142 million in pre-tax earnings, up 28 percent from the same period last year.
Target added that markups also boosted results, though these were partly offset by higher selling, general and administrative expenses.