Dollar General Reports Increased Sales and Earnings For The First Quarter of 2002

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn., May 30, 2002 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Dollar General Corporation (NYSE: DG) today reported that net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2002 increased 26.8 percent to $45.9 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, compared with $36.2 million, or $0.11 per diluted share in the first quarter of fiscal 2001. The Company incurred approximately $5.3 million and $0.3 million in restatement-related expenses in the first quarters of 2002 and 2001, respectively. Excluding the restatement-related expenses from both years, net income during the current year period increased by 35.3 percent to $49.3 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, as compared against net income of $36.4 million, or $0.11 per diluted share in the comparable prior year period.

Net sales during the first quarter of 2002 were $1.39 billion as compared against $1.20 billion in the first quarter of 2001, an increase of 15.5 percent. The increase resulted primarily from 535 net new stores and a same-store sales increase of 6.7 percent. During the first quarter of 2002, the Company opened 200 stores and closed 9 stores. Gross profit during the current year period was $380.3 million, or 27.4 percent of sales versus $321.4 million, or 26.7 percent of sales during the comparable period in the prior year, an increase of 18.3 percent. S,G&A expenses during the current year period were $297.3 million, or 21.4 percent of sales, versus $252.0 million, or 20.9 percent of sales during the comparable period in the prior year, an increase of 18.0 percent. Excluding the restatement-related expenses noted above, S,G&A expense would have been $292.0 million, or 21.0 percent of sales, in the current year versus $251.7 million, or 20.9 percent of sales, in the prior year, an increase of 16.0 percent. Interest expense during the current year period was $10.4 million versus $11.6 million in the prior year. The Company's effective tax rate was 36.7 percent in the current year period versus 37.4 percent in the comparable prior year period.

The Company spent approximately $34.8 million on capital expenditures in the first quarter of 2002 and concluded the quarter with approximately $287.4 million in cash and $732.0 million in total debt.

"These results follow our strong performance in fiscal 2001, and they are indicative of a strong management team doing a better job of implementing our strategy," said Cal Turner, Chairman and CEO.

As of May 3, 2002, Dollar General operated 5,731 neighborhood stores in 27 states with distribution centers in Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma and Virginia.

In accordance with the interpretations of the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the normal procedures of the Company, the Company's financial statements for the first quarter of fiscal 2002 will not be deemed to have been issued until the Company's Quarterly Report on Form 10Q is filed, and as a result, the Company's financial statements will necessarily remain subject to adjustment until such filing.

This press release contains historical and forward-looking information. The words "believe," "anticipate," "project," "plan," "expect," "estimate," "objective," "forecast," "goal," "intend," "will likely result," or "will continue" and similar expressions identify forward looking statements. The forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company believes the assumptions underlying these forward-looking statements are reasonable; however, any of the assumptions could be inaccurate, and therefore, actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. The factors that may result in actual results differing from such forward-looking information include, but are not limited to: the Company's ability to maintain adequate liquidity through its cash resources and credit facilities, including its ability to refinance or replace such facilities on favorable terms at the maturity thereof; the Company's ability to comply with the terms of the Company's credit facilities (or obtain waivers for non- compliance); the Company's ability to enter into new credit facilities on terms acceptable to the Company prior to the expiration in September 2002 of the terms of the Company's existing credit facilities, general transportation and distribution delays or interruptions; inventory risks due to shifts in market demand; changes in product mix; interruptions in suppliers' businesses; fuel price and interest rate fluctuations; a deterioration in general economic conditions caused by acts of war or terrorism; temporary changes in demand due to weather patterns; delays associated with building, opening and operating new stores; and the impact of the litigation and regulatory proceedings related to the restatement of the Company's financial statements, including the funding of the settlement of such litigation and the risk that the conditions to the effectiveness of such settlements, including approval by the courts, may not be realized.

Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

                          DOLLAR GENERAL CORPORATION                               INCOME STATEMENTS                    (in thousands, except per share amounts)  

--- FOR THE FIRST QUARTER ENDED ---

(Unaudited) % of (Unaudited) % of May 3, 2002 Sales May 4, 2001 Sales

Sales $1,389,412 100.0% $1,202,504 100.0% Cost of Sales 1,009,120 72.6% 881,079 73.3% Gross Margin 380,292 27.4% 321,425 26.7% Selling, General & Administrative Expense 297,304 21.4% 251,990 20.9% Operating Income 82,988 6.0% 69,435 5.8% Interest Expense 10,432 0.8% 11,600 1.0% Pre-Tax Income 72,556 5.2% 57,835 4.8% Income Taxes 26,628 1.9% 21,602 1.8% Net Income $45,928 3.3% $36,233 3.0%

Diluted earnings per share $0.14 $0.11 Weighted average diluted shares 334,834 335,184

For the quarter ended May 3, 2002, the number of same-store customer transactions increased 5.5% over the comparable period last year.

(Unaudited) (Unaudited) 1Q 2002 1Q 2001

Average transaction value $8.31 $8.21 Average number of items per transaction 5.7 5.8

DOLLAR GENERAL CORPORATION

Selected Balance Sheet Highlights (in thousands)

(Unaudited) May 3, 2002 February 1, 2002

Cash and cash equivalents $287,424 $261,525 Merchandise inventories 1,134,449 1,131,023 Total Assets 2,588,732 2,552,385 Total Long-term obligations 731,960 735,145 Total Shareholders' equity 1,088,660 1,041,718

Sales by Category For the First Quarter Ended (in thousands)

(Unaudited) (Unaudited) May 3, 2002 May 4, 2001 % Chg

Highly Consumable $851,236 $721,292 18.0% Hardware and Seasonal 204,763 168,804 21.3% Basic Clothing 142,301 130,632 8.9% Home Products 191,112 181,776 5.1% TOTAL SALES $1,389,412 $1,202,504 15.5%

New Store Activity For the First Quarter Ended

(Unaudited) (Unaudited) May 3, 2002 May 4, 2001

Beginning Store Count 5,540 5,000 New Store Openings 200 213 Store Closings 9 17 Net New Stores 191 196 Ending Store Count 5,731 5,196 Total Selling Square Footage 38,640 35,181



SOURCE Dollar General Corporation

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