USA: Dress Barn Q1 net income falls 28.4%, Backs FY08

SAN FRANCISCO: Dress Barn Inc., an operator of women's apparel stores, has reported a 28.4% fall in net earnings to $19.6 million for Q1 from the $27.4 million, or 40 cents a share it reported in the year-ago period.

The Suffern, N.Y. based company posted a 1.5% increase in its quarterly revenues, mainly due to contributions from the newly opened stores. However, same store sales for the quarter declined 3%, compared to last year. Net sales for the quarter were $363.7 million from $358.4 million a year ago. The company attributed the increase in net sales to its opening new stores and said same-store sales dropped 3% in the quarter.

The company also reaffirmed its fiscal 2008 earnings forecast of $1.25 to $1.35 a share. The company expects 'an increased promotional retail environment for much of this holiday season' in an effort to improve sales in its dressbarn stores.

The company posted net income of $19.62 million or $0.30 per share for the quarter, compared to $27.42 million or $0.40 per share in the comparable quarter last year.

Quarterly operating income decreased to $31.19 million from $44.36 million in the prior year quarter. The company recorded gross profit of $139.51 million for the fiscal quarter, compared to $148.92 million in the year ago quarter.

The company said its selling, general and administrative expenses for first quarter increased to $96.74 million from $93.73 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

Dress Barn also closed its $75 million share repurchase program and approved a new repurchase program of up to $100 million shares, during the quarter.

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Added: November 28, 2007 Source: Agencies
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