By  on August 18, 2008

Women’s apparel chain New York & Co. Inc. raised its guidance Friday after reporting that second-quarter profits more than doubled, lifted by retooled promotional strategies and cost cutting. The New York-based company posted net income of $8.8 million, or 14 cents a diluted share, for the quarter ended Aug. 2, compared with profits of $3.5 million, or 6 cents, for the year-ago period. Same-store sales fell 2.2 percent compared with a 4.9 percent jump a year ago. Total sales rose 3.8 percent to $295.7 million from $285 million. Analysts expected earnings per share of 9 cents on revenue of $283.6 million, according to Yahoo Finance. For the six months, the specialty retailer had a leap in profits to $15.5 million, or 25 cents a diluted share, from $4.3 million, or 7 cents, for the same period last year. Sales rose 1.2 percent to $565.7 million from $559.2 million. “Our sales met our expectations and we achieved a significant increase in gross-profit margin driven by the strength of our offerings and our actions to tightly control inventory and eliminate non-brand building promotions,” said Richard P. Crystal, chairman and chief executive officer. “As we begin the second half of the year, we believe we are well positioned to accomplish our goals and will continue to emphasize the strategies that generated our strong first-half performance.” Gross profit for the quarter was 29.9 percent of sales, driven by a favorable customer response to merchandise selection and the elimination of non-brand building promotions. Inventory declined 22.3 percent per average store compared with the end of last year’s second quarter, which reflected the company’s strategy to optimize inventory flow. The retailer raised its full-year EPS outlook to between 52 cents to 60 cents a share, from its earlier forecast of 44 cents to 54 cents a share. Analysts polled by Yahoo Finance expect earnings of 54 cents a share.

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