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Claire’s Reverses Loss in Quarter

NEW YORK — Claire’s Stores Inc. moved back into the black in its second quarter.<br><br>For the three months ended Aug. 3, income was $16.9 million, or 35 cents a diluted share, against a loss of $6 million, or 12 cents, in the year-ago...

NEW YORK — Claire’s Stores Inc. moved back into the black in its second quarter.

For the three months ended Aug. 3, income was $16.9 million, or 35 cents a diluted share, against a loss of $6 million, or 12 cents, in the year-ago quarter. The company said that year-ago figures were restated to adjust for the sale of the Mr. Rags men’s wear operation.

Sales increased 7.9 percent to $238.7 million from $221.3 million. Comparable-store sales were up by mid-single digits in Claire’s North American stores and by low-single digits at Icing by Claire’s. Claire’s European stores posted comp declines in the low-single digits.

Rowland Schaefer, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement, “Even though sales trends continue to be weak at many retailers, we continue to produce positive same-store sales trends in the low-single digits for both Claire’s Accessories North America and Icing by Claire’s for August. “

The ceo added, “Given the current economic environment with weak mall traffic and low consumer confidence, we remain somewhat cautious with assumptions for the third quarter. We anticipate same-store sales will continue their positive low-single-digits trends for the quarter.”

He said that the firm was comfortable increasing consensus estimates for the third-quarter from continuing operations to 11 cents a share, up by 1 cent.

For the six months, income catapulted to $25.2 million, or 52 cents, about 14 times the $1.8 million, or 4 cents, registered last year. Sales rose 3.4 percent to $449.1 million from $434.2 million.