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Cato Corp. sales rise in June

Cato Corp. said its sales for the five weeks that ended July 2 rose 2 percent to $90.4 million from $88.2 million for the same period last year.

The Charlotte-based clothing retailer also said same-store sales, those at stores that have been open at least a year, increased 1 percent over the period.

Sales for the twenty-two weeks that ended July 2 were $442.0 million, up 3 percent from $428 million for the same period last year. Year-to-date same-store sales increased 1 percent.

“June same-store sales overall were slightly above expectations,” CEO John Cato said.  ”However, same-store sales softened toward the end of the month compared to our year-to-date trend.”

The company expects second-quarter earnings per diluted share to be 57 cents  to 59 cents, compared with 58 cents last year.

Rising raw material and freight costs are expected to have a negative effect on the company’s performance in the second half of this year, the company said.

In June, Cato opened two stores in Middleburg Heights, Ohio, and Grand Rapids, Mich.  As of July 2,  it had 1,286 stores in 31 states, down one from the same time last year.

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