J. Crew’s Strong Quarter

Operating earnings and sales up sharply in final three months of year.

Top-line and margin growth led J. Crew to a fourth-quarter performance that transcended the economic malaise dragging down most retailers.

J. Crew said that its fourth-quarter profit fell to $25 million, or 39 cents a share, from $44 million, or 71 cents, a year ago. However, the year-ago period had an extra week and a tax benefit of $10.9 million, and in the 2007 quarter there was a severance charge of 2 cents a share.

On an adjusted basis, net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007 totaled $26.3 million, or 41 cents per diluted share, compared to $20.5 million, or 33 cents, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006.

Revenues increased 9 percent to $399.9 million, with store and outlet sales up 8 percent to $260.6 million, and comparable-store sales flat. On a calendar-adjusted basis, comps rose 4 percent. Direct sales rose 11 percent to $126 million.

For further coverage, see Wednesday’s issue of WWD.

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