Yankee Candle Sales Shine

Yankee Candle Company Inc., South Deerfield, MA, said yesterday that sales totaled $106.5 million in the quarter ended April 3, up 10 percent from the year-ago quarter.

Also reported were comparable sales for the first quarter increasing 6 percent as wholesale sales totaled $60.6 million, a 14 percent jump. Wholesale comparable sales improved 10 percent.

Retail sales were $45.9 million, a 4 percent rise over the fiscal 2003 first quarter. Comparable-store sales in the 247 retail stores that have been open more than one year dropped 4 percent. The company opened 14 new retail stores in the quarter for a total of 300 in 42 states.

Operating profit for the fiscal 2004 first quarter increased 14 percent to $18.1 million, up from $15.8 million in the prior-year quarter. Net income rose 16 percent to $10.5 million from $9 million.

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