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Dollarama in the Parkdale area of Toronto.

Peter Power / The Globe and Mail/Peter Power / The Globe and Mail

Dollarama Inc. reported a big increase in revenue and net earnings Thursday and declared the company's first dividend since becoming a publicly traded company in October 2009.

The quarterly dividend of nine cents per share will be paid Aug. 3 to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 29.

The Quebec-based retailer of low-cost merchandise said net earnings in its fiscal first quarter ended May 1 were $30.4-million, or 40 cents per share, compared with $22.5-million, or 30 cents per share, in the same year-earlier period.

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Sales rose 11 per cent to $346.3-million from $311.9-million.

The increase was mainly driven by the opening of 56 net new stores in the preceding year and by comparable store sales growth of 3.4 per cent in the quarter, Dollarama said in a news release.

"Consumers all across Canada continue to discover Dollarama's compelling merchandise offering, which helped to drive double-digit sales and earnings growth in the first quarter while generating strong cash flows," said CEO Larry Rossy.

"Our growth plans remain on track. We continue to open stores in markets across Canada, and launched 15 net new stores during the quarter. We feel strongly that the market remains under penetrated and we are confident that we will achieve our store opening target of 50 net new stores during the current fiscal year."

"Establishing Dollarama as a dividend-paying issuer is a measure of the success of our growth-oriented business model and our resulting strong financial performance," he added.

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