A visual of the new Abercrombie & Fitch retail concept

Abercrombie & Fitch, ending the year on a “strong note,” saw net income for the fourth quarter grow to $96.94 million, from $74.2 million in the year-ago period.

Income per diluted share came to $1.42 versus $1.05. Net sales of $1.2 billion for the quarter declined 3 percent from last year, reflecting a combined adverse impact of about 6 percent due to the calendar shift and currency fluctuations. Comparable sales were up 3 percent.

Sales and earnings beat Wall Street estimates.

For the full year, net income rose to $74.54 million, from $7.1 million, while sales grew 3 percent to $3.6 billion. Comparable sales rose 3 percent. Net income per diluted share came to $1.08 versus $0.10.

“We ended 2018 on a strong note, recording our sixth consecutive quarter and second consecutive full year of positive comparable sales while exceeding $1 billion in annual digital sales,” said chief executive officer Fran Horowitz. “I am proud of our team and all we have accomplished this year. Most importantly, while delivering on the top-line, we drove gross profit rate improvement and operating expense leverage resulting in 100 basis points of adjusted EBIT margin expansion and a 77 percent improvement in adjusted net income for the full year. We continue to keep the customer at the center of everything we do and are excited about the future of our brands. Our transformation initiatives are gaining traction and keeping us on track to deliver our previously disclosed fiscal 2020 targets.”

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