J. Crew Q4 Sales Rise 6.7%

Direct sales increase 9.5%, comps ahead 4%.

The exterior of a J. Crew store.

J. Crew Group Inc. reported Thursday that sales for the fourth quarter were up on both a net and comparable basis.

This story first appeared in the February 21, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

In a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York-based retailer reported that sales for the three months ended Feb. 1 hit $686 million, 6.7 percent above the $642.9 million reported during the fourth quarter of 2012. Direct sales were up 9.5 percent, to $238 million from $217.3 million, and comparable sales, including stores open at least a year and direct revenues, rose 4 percent.

The results are preliminary and unaudited and didn’t include estimates of net income for the quarter. The company projected that adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization would rise between 5.7 and 8.6 percent, to a range of $74 million to $76 million, from $70 million in last year’s quarter.

Capital expenditures totaled $29 million.

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J. Crew disclosed the figures as it prepared to meet with prospective lenders Friday in connection with refinancing tied to the redemption of $400 million in 8.125 percent senior unsecured notes due in 2019. The filing indicated that it doesn’t yet have commitments from prospective lenders on the refinancing.

The fourth-quarter results would push full-year revenues up 9 percent to $2.43 billion from $2.23 billion in 2012, with direct sales up 16 percent to $756 million and comps up 3 percent. Adjusted EBITDA would end the year between $369 million and $371 million, 2.5 to 3.1 percent higher than in 2012.

The company also said that cash and cash equivalents concluded the year at $157 million, more than twice the $68 million level at the close of 2012. Long-term debt receded to $1.57 billion from $1.58 billion, according to the filing.