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Dollar General's quarterly sales rise 7 pct

Dollar General's quarterly sales rose 7 percent as demand increased for items such as candy and snacks, perishables, tobacco, and food.

The company also said on Thursday it boosted its quarterly dividend to 25 cents a share from 22 cents a share, and that it planned to buy back about $1 billion in shares in fiscal 2016.

Dollar General's net income rose to $376.2 million, or $1.30 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 29 from $355.4 million, or $1.17 per share, a year earlier.

Net sales rose to $5.29 billion from $4.94 billion.

Analysts had expected the retailer to report earnings of about $1.26 a share on $5.30 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

A Dollar General store in Scottsville, Kentucky.
Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A Dollar General store in Scottsville, Kentucky.

Last year, the retailer announced that it would be eliminating roughly 255 positions as part of a broader corporate restructuring plan.

"This restructuring should allow us to continue strengthening our market leadership position and deliver long-term value for our shareholders," said CEO Todd Vasos in a statement at the time.

In addition to these restructuring changes, Dollar General named interim Chief Financial Officer John Garratt permanently to the post in December.

Reuters contributed to this report.