CHARMING SHOPPES POSTS QUARTER NET DROP OF 78.3%

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NEW YORK — Charming Shoppes Inc., citing weakness in women’s apparel sales and heavy markdowns, reported profits in the fourth quarter slid 78.3 percent compared with the previous year.
The Bensalem, Pa.-based retailer, which operates stores called Fashion Bug and Fashion Bug Plus, said profits in the quarter, ended Jan. 28, fell to $5.2 million, or 5 cents per share, from $23.8 million, or 22 cents.
Sales in the quarter dropped 3.3 percent to $345.4 million from $357.2 million.
The company said the sales decline was “primarily attributable to a disappointing response to [its] merchandise assortment and a general weakness in women’s apparel sales.” The frequency and size of markdowns increased at the retailer’s 1,428 stores to stimulate consumer demand, Charming Shoppes said in a statement.
For the year, profits were off 41 percent to $44.69 million, or 42 cents, from $75.77 million, or 70 cents. In the earlier year, a $4 million gain from an accounting change put net profits at $79.76 million, or 74 cents.
Revenue in the year gained 1.5 percent to $1.3 billion from $1.3 billion.
Charming Shoppes stock closed at 5 1/2 Tuesday, off 7/16 in over-the-counter trading.
— Fairchild News Service

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