By and  on March 19, 2012

NEW YORK — J. Crew Group Inc. reported that net income for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 28 increased more than threefold to $15.1 million from $4 million in the year-ago period.

The net was pushed down in the year-earlier period due to purchase accounting and costs associated with the $3.1 billion acquisition of the firm by TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners in March 2011, taking the company private. Total acquisition costs were $65 million, including $20 million that was recorded in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Fourth-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization advanced to $59.5 million from $51.6 million a year earlier, about a 15 percent gain. That’s considered a better indication of how the company is actually performing since it erases the impact of acquisition, purchase accounting and other items.

Revenues increased 13 percent to $530.9 million, with comparable-store sales increasing 6 percent. Direct sales increased 10 percent to $170.8 million. Gross margin increased to 37.8 percent from 37.4 percent. Gross profit this year reflects the impact of purchase accounting of $2.7 million.

For the year, adjusted EBITDA slipped to $282.2 million from $288.2 million. Pro forma net earnings fell to $51.5 million from $121.5 million in fiscal 2010. Revenues increased 7.7 percent to $1.85 billion from $1.72 billion.

The company also reported compensation for its top executives. Chairman and chief executive officer Millard “Mickey” Drexler earned his usual $200,000 but has options valued at $11.32 million as well as $1.67 million in other compensation. Drexler, 67, signed a new agreement extending his employment through March 7, 2015, subject to automatic one-year renewals. Drexler also has an opportunity to earn an annual bonus award, with a target opportunity of $1.2 million, based on performance metrics set by the board.

When Drexler joined the company in 2003, he invested $10 million of his own money to buy a substantial equity stake. He also paid $1 million for a grant of stock options and a grant of restricted stock. His annual base salary was set at $200,000 in 2003 and has not increased.

With the acquisition, Drexler contributed 2,287,545 shares worth about $99.5 million in exchange for a stake in J. Crew’s new parent company. Drexler owns between 8 and 9 percent of the company’s shares.

President and executive creative director Jenna Lyons received a salary of $1 million, and received stock options valued at $2 million.

Stock and option awards are reported due to Securities and Exchange Commission requirements. The compensation recorded in these categories was not necessarily realized.

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