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Forzani fourth-quarter earnings below Street forecasts

Forzani Group Ltd. said Tuesday its fourth-quarter profits edged higher from a year-earlier, while its same-store sales saw a 7.3 per cent bump.



The retailer earned $24.2-million for the 13 weeks ended Jan. 30 compared with $22.9-million in the same period a year earlier.



The earnings amounted to 84 cents per share - an improvement from last year's 75 cents, but missed the 89 cents per share analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had on average been expecting.

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Revenues for what was the company's fourth-quarter were $410.9-million, up from $372.9-million.



"Our fourth-quarter and annual results attest to the strength of our strategic plan and its execution over the past year," said chief executive officer Bob Sartor.



"Despite significant increases in one-time and structural costs, we outperformed both our Canadian retail peer group and the North American sporting goods peer group in the key same-store sales metric, and delivered a 28 per cent increase in (earnings per share) this past year."



Calgary-based Forzani is Canada's largest sporting goods retailer. It operates under several banners including Sport Chek, Sport Mart, National Sports, Atmosphere, Athletes World and Hockey Experts.



At the end of the fourth quarter, it had 534 stores across Canada.



Shares in Forzani, which reported its results after markets closed, closed up two cents to $17.02 on the Toronto Stock Exchange Tuesday.



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