DELIA’S REPORTS DEEPER LOSSES

Byline: Vicki M. Young

NEW YORK — Saddled with merger and restructuring charges, Delia’s Corp. Wednesday reported losses for the fourth quarter and year.
The multichannel retailer targeting young women said the loss for the period ended Feb. 3 was $17.8 million, or 55 cents a share, versus a $1.8 million loss, or 7 cents a merger-adjusted share, in the year-ago quarter. Excluding charges in connection to Delia’s recombination with its majority-owned subsidiary iTurf Inc. during the fourth quarter, the loss was $7.3 million, or 23 cents a share, compared with a $9.1 million loss, or 37 cents a merger-adjusted share in the year-ago period. Sales were up 13.2 percent, to $76.4 million from $67.5 million.
According to the company, core Delia’s sales — from the Delia’s catalog, delias.com and Delia’s retail stores — increased 37.3 percent, to $60.7 million, in the latest quarter from $44.2 million in the comparable year-ago period. Earnings from operations in the core businesses before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and charges for noncash compensation and restructuring were $2.1 million in the quarter, compared with a $6.8 million quarterly loss last year.
Delia’s shares closed at $3, down 53 cents, in Nasdaq trading Wednesday as the index hit yet another 52-week low of 1830.23, a more than 27-point drop. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also hit another 52-week low as it logged its fourth 200 point drop in two weeks, settling in at 9487, down 233.76.
For the year, the company posted a $79.7 million loss, or $2.98 a share, against net income of $11 million, or 42 cents, a year ago. Sales were up 12.7 percent, to $215.1 million from $190.8 million.
Stephen Kahn, chief executive officer, said in a statement: “As we begin to see the positive impact of the changes we made in fiscal 2000, we remain very enthusiastic about our plans to further increase the reach of the Delia’s brand in every channel and enhance financial performance.”
The ceo noted that the company was nearing completion of its divestiture program. When Delia’s and iTurf recombined, the company decided to get out of certain businesses that were part of the iTurf portal network.