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Pier 1 Imports' Q4 comps increase 8.9%

Fort Worth, Texas-based Pier 1 Imports saw comparable-store sales increase 8.9% in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 26. For the full year, comparable-store sales surged 10.9%, compared with an increase of 1.5% in the prior year.

CEO Alex Smith called 2010 "truly an exceptional year," as the retailer achieved annual operating income for the first time in six years. 

In the fourth quarter, Pier 1 reported net income of $57.1 million, compared with last year’s fourth quarter net income of $34.5 million. Total sales were $426.6 million, up 7.7%. 

For the year, net income was $100.1 million, compared with net income of $86.8 million in fiscal 2009.

"The journey we started four years ago to return Pier 1 Imports to profitability and beyond has reached its initial destination -- profitability -- but we are by no means done," said Smith.

The company unveiled a three-year growth plan designed to drive sales, further improve profitability and increase shareholder value. It will invest $200 million into the business and return value back to its shareholders through a $100 million initial share repurchase program, Smith said. 

The goal of the initiative is to achieve sales of $200 per retail square foot and drive operating margin to at least 10% of sales within three years.

"We are now positioned offensively, rather than defensively," Smith said.

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