Dollar General profit soars as shoppers seek value

CHICAGO Tue Jun 2, 2009 8:53am EDT

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Dollar General Corp DG.UL reported a sharply higher quarterly profit on Tuesday, as cost-conscious consumers flocked to the discount retailer's stores for bargains in the recession.

Dollar General, which sells most of its merchandise for $10 or less, said net income in the first quarter ended May 1 jumped to $83.0 million from $5.9 million a year earlier. Adjusted earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization soared 59 percent to $291 million.

As the recession tightens household budgets, more shoppers have flocked to discount chains such as Dollar General, Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N), Family Dollar Stores Inc (FDO.N) and Dollar Tree Inc (DLTR.O).

Dollar General's quarterly sales rose 15.7 percent to $2.78 billion, while sales at stores open at least a year, or same-store sales, climbed 13.3 percent.

The company, which is owned by private equity group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co KKR.UL, operates more than 8,460 stores in 35 U.S. states.

(Reporting by Jessica Wohl in Chicago and Martinne Geller in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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