Faced with a tough comparison to the first quarter of 2021, Mooresville, N.C.-based retail giant Lowe's Cos. reported sales declines for the three months ended April 29.
Net sales of $23.659 billion were down 2.9 percent in the quarter. Comparable sales in the U.S. home improvement business declined 3.8 percent for the first quarter.
The company posted net earnings of $2.333 billion, up slightly from $2.321 billion in the first quarter one year ago.
The company's sales performance was negatively impacted by an unseasonably cool April, which kept DIYers — 75 percent of the company's customer base — out of the stores. Things are picking up, said CEO Marvin Ellison.
“Now that spring has finally arrived, we are pleased with the improved sales trends we are seeing in May,” Ellison said.
Ellison also pointed to 65 basis points of operating margin improvement.
“Despite some increased uncertainty in the macro environment, we remain confident in the outlook for the home improvement market and our ability to deliver operating margin expansion in 2022,” he added.
A dramatic improvement was seen in sales to pro customers: up 20 percent.
At the end of the quarter, Lowe's operated 1,971 stores, unchanged from three months ago.
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Bottom line: Net earnings in Q1 increased slightly to $2.3 billion.
What the CEO said: “Our sales this quarter were in line with our expectations, excluding our outdoor seasonal categories that were impacted by unseasonably cold temperatures in April,” said CEO Marvin Ellison.
More information: Visit the Lowe's newsroom here.