Ann Inc., lifted by expense controls, reduced restructuring charges and warmer weather boosting some spring selling, reported a 162 percent increase in first quarter net income to $13.6 million from $5.2 million in the year ago period. Earnings per share almost tripled to 29 cents on a diluted basis from 11 cents.
The company had reduced restructuring charges of about $6.4 million, compared to more than $17 million in the year ago period. Comparable sales in the quarter ended May 2 decreased 1.5 percent while total sales were nearly flat at $597.7 million, compared to $590.6 million in the first quarter of 2014.
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“Ann Inc. delivered bottom-line results for the quarter that exceeded our expectations,” said Kay Krill, president and chief executive officer. “We were able to achieve these results despite softer than anticipated gross margin performance through continued effective management of expenses. The results reflected a weak February but positive comparable sales performances at both Ann Taylor and Loft in the combined March and April period as clients responded positively to our new spring assortments that coincided with the onset of warmer weather.”
This week, Ann Inc. struck a deal to be sold to the Ascena Retail Group for $2.2 billion. The deal has been approved by both boards and is expected to close in the second half of this year.