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Urban Outfitters Set to Appoint CEO

The board of Urban Outfitters Inc. is expected to name Glen Senk chief executive officer, the company said in its quarterly conference call with investors.

The board of Urban Outfitters Inc. is expected to name Glen Senk chief executive officer, the company said in its quarterly conference call with investors.

Senk, who is currently president of Anthro­pologie and executive vice president of Urban Outfitters, will oversee the company’s three brands while Richard Hayne, chairman and current chief executive officer, will remain chairman.

The company made the announcement Thurs­day as it posted flat fourth-quarter earnings, matching analysts’ expectations. Management also said it moved past the difficulties imposed by a shift in fashion trends.

For the three months ended Jan. 31, net income inched up to $35.7 million from $35.6 million in the prior year, while diluted earnings per share remained at 21 cents. Sales for the quarter increased 13 percent to $360.8 million from $318.6 million last year.

Total same-store sales for the quarter dropped 5 percent. By brand, Urban Outfitters decreased 4 percent, Anthropologie was down 7 percent and Free People rose 4 percent. Full-year earnings fell to $116.2 million, or 69 cents a diluted share, from $130.8 million, or 77 cents in the year-ago period as sales jumped 12 percent to $1.22 billion from $1.09 billion.

While the company faced challenges this year due to what it deemed a significant shift in women’s fashion, Hayne said the company has moved past this period, and is finding ways to interpret fashion to fit its target customers.

“In spite of the turbulence in the fashion world during the last 12 months, our brands have continued to deliver record sales and highly respectable profits,” Hayne said on a conference call. “This is a tribute to the power that our three brands enjoy with their customers and reaffirms our belief that experiential retailing, one that creates an emotional tie between the brand and the customer, is a superior model and one that affords us a competitive advantage in the marketplace.”

The company also said it expects to announce plans for the concept 4 retail brand by the third quarter of 2007. “Concept 4 will primarily serve the customer we know and understand the best, the well-educated, well-read and well-traveled women,” Hayne said, implying that the target customer of the new concept is skewed older than its Urban brand.