Ann Inc., driven by strong performance at both its Loft and Ann Taylor divisions, reported a 34 percent increase in earnings per diluted share to 63 cents from 47 cents in the year-ago quarter. Net income rose 24 percent to $30.7 million, versus $24.8 million a year ago.
Total sales last quarter were $594.9 million, compared with $558.2 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2011.
Comparable-store sales increased 4.7 percent. At Ann Taylor, comparable sales increased 5.6 percent, reflecting increases of 3.2 percent at Ann Taylor stores, 29 percent in e-commerce and 2.1 percent at the outlets. Loft’s comparable sales were up 4.2 percent, reflecting increases of 4.1 percent at the stores, 14.6 percent in e-commerce and 0.3 percent at the outlets.
“At the Ann Taylor brand, performance accelerated significantly from the first quarter, reflecting stronger sales and profitability, including positive comps in the Ann Taylor stores channel and continued profitable growth in the e-commerce and factory outlet channels,” said Kay Krill, president and chief executive officer. “Loft also delivered excellent sales and profitability results, including strong margin and continued solid comp growth on top of last year’s double-digit increase.”
By brand, Ann Taylor totaled $233.3 million in sales, compared to $217.9 million in the second quarter of 2011. Loft posted $361.6 million in the second quarter of 2012, compared with net sales of $340.3 million in the year-ago quarter.
The company projected $2.39 billion in sales for fiscal 2012, reflecting a comparable sales increase in the mid-single digits. The gross margin rate is expected to be about 55 percent, and the company expects to have about 985 stores at fiscal year-end.