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    Family Dollar Stores' Profits Grow

    MATTHEWS, N.C. - Matthews, N.C.-based Family Dollar Stores Inc. on Wednesday reported higher fiscal fourth-quarter profits, suggesting that the discount format continues to fare well during this troubling economy.

    MATTHEWS, N.C. - Matthews, N.C.-based Family Dollar Stores Inc. on Wednesday reported higher fiscal fourth-quarter profits, suggesting that the discount format continues to fare well during this troubling economy.

    The retailer said its earnings for the quarter ended Aug. 31 were $41.9 million, or 24 cents a share. That was nearly 23 percent higher than earnings of $34.1 million, or 20 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.

    With 4,615 discount stores in 41 states, Family Dollar said it expects net income per share to increase by 14 percent to 16 percent in fiscal 2003.

    Fourth-quarter sales were just over $1 billion, or 14.9 percent above sales of $921 million for the same quarter last year.

    During the fourth quarter, Family Dollar opened 189 stores and closed four stores.

    "Although the economy has not been strong for several years, our company has performed well, reporting quarter over quarter sales and earnings increases," said Howard R. Levine, president and CEO.

    He said the chain plans to open about 575 new stores, expand or relocate 150 stores, and open a seventh distribution center in fiscal 2003.

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