Ascena Retail Group Inc. posted lower fourth-quarter profits — the effect of an extra week in the year-ago period — but saw considerable growth at its Justice chain.
Net income for the quarter fell 32.9 percent to $28.2 million, or 35 cents a share, from $42 million, or 52 cents, a year earlier. Adjusted earnings, which exclude an extra week in the year-ago period and other items, rose to 48 cents a share and were 1 cent below analyst estimates.
Sales for the three months ended July 30 rose 2.1 percent to $725.8 million from $710.9 million.
Excluding the impact of the extra week, the firm’s sales rose 11 percent and comparable-store sales at Justice increased 14 percent, while Dress Barn comped up 4 percent and Maurices gained 3 percent.
For the full year, the firm’s profits rose 27.8 percent to $170.5 million, or $2.11 a diluted share, on a 22.7 percent gain in sales to $2.91 billion. Adjusted earnings totaled $2.33 a share.
This year, Ascena is projecting earnings of $2.55 to $2.65 a share with a midsingle-digit gain in comp sales.