By  on April 21, 2008

J. Crew Group chairman and chief executive officer Millard "Mickey" Drexler received $2.8 million in total compensation last year, a 22 percent increase from $2.3 million in 2006.

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Drexler's compensation includes a base salary of $200,000, stock and option awards totaling more than $1 million and a bonus of $1.5 million.

The compensation of some other top executives also increased. The specialty retailer awards a substantial portion of executive compensation based on performance. J. Crew has been outshining its competitors, experiencing top-line and margin growth as many other retailers are being pulled down by the depleted economy.

Tracy Gardner, president of retail and direct, was paid $2.6 million compared with $1.6 million in 2006. Her compensation package includes a base salary of $684,600 and stock and option awards of $983,954. She also received an $875,000 bonus.

Libby Wadle, executive vice president of the factory division, received a pay package of $1.1 million, an increase from $680,501 last year. Total compensation included a base salary of $390,800, stock and option awards of $351,736 and a $380,600 bonus.

Jeffrey Pfeifle, former president, received $1.3 million in 2007 compared with $1.9 million in the previous year. Pfeifle's compensation included a base salary of $842,300 and a $603,200 bonus.

Pfeifle left the company on Feb. 1 and, as a result, forfeited 159,288 stock options and 90,733 shares of restricted stock. He had been the number-two executive at the retailer, and was a close associate of Drexler. The company previously said his responsibilities will be assumed by members of the executive team and that there is no near-term plan to fill his job.

In the fourth quarter ended Feb. 2, earnings fell to $25 million, or 39 cents a share, from $44 million, or 71 cents a share, in the year-ago period. However, the year before had an extra week and a nonrecurring tax benefit of $10.9 million, and in the 2007 quarter there was a severance charge of 2 cents a share. Revenues increased 9 percent to $399.9 million, with store and outlet sales up 8 percent to $260.6 million and comparable-store sales flat. On a calendar-adjusted basis, same-store sales rose 4 percent.

For the fiscal year, revenues increased 16 percent to $1.33 billion, with comparable-store sales up 6 percent. Gross margin rose to 44.1 percent of revenues from 43.4 percent. Operating income jumped 37 percent to $172.5 million, compared with $125.6 million the previous year. Net income was $97.1 million, or $1.52 a share, versus $71.6 million, or $1.49 a share.

The company recently opened the flagship for its Madewell concept in New York's SoHo, a 3,500-square-foot space at 486 Broadway on the corner of Broome Street. The store is in an 1883 Romanesque Revival brick building that decades ago housed the Mechanics and Traders' Bank of Manhattan.

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