CLAIRE’S NET CLIMBS: Strong sales propelled Claire’s Stores Inc. to major profit gains in the fourth quarter. For the three months ended Feb. 1, the Pembroke Pines, Fla.-based specialty retailer reported net income swelled 161.5 percent to $40.2 million, or 82 cents a diluted share. That compares with earnings in last year’s quarter of $15.4 million, or 32 cents. Income from continuing operations increased 42.7 percent to $42.5 million from $29.8 million a year ago. Earnings per share beat the Wall Street forecast by a penny. Sales for the period ascended 15 percent to $322.4 million from $280.4 million, as comparable-store sales rose 9 percent. In a statement, vice chairman Marla Schaefer attributed the performance to tight inventory management, strong merchandise margins and expense control. For the full fiscal year, Claire’s recorded a 297 percent improvement in net earnings to $77.7 million, or $1.59, versus $19.6 million, or 40 cents, in the prior year. Sales grew 9 percent to $1 billion from $918.7 million, and comps were up 5 percent. As for fiscal 2004, the company is looking for same-store sales growth of 3 to 4 percent and plans to open 150 new stores while closing 89.

To Read the Full Article
SUBSCRIBE NOW

Tap into our Global Network

Of Industry Leaders and Designers

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus