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Adjusted EPS halves at Ascena Retail in Q4FY15
Sep '15
Adjusted earnings from continuing operations for the fourth fiscal quarter ended July 25, 2015 at apparel marketer Ascena Retail Group halved over the same period of prior fiscal.

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, Ascena reported adjusted earnings from continuing operations at $0.06 per diluted share, compared to $0.13 per diluted share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014.

In the quarter under review, the company reported a loss from continuing operations of $1.98 per diluted share compared to earnings from continuing operations of $0.10 per diluted share in last fiscal's second quarter.

According to a press release, the loss reflects a $306 million impairment of goodwill and an intangible asset at Lane Bryant and an approximately $50 million accrual for costs related to the Justice pricing lawsuits.

Net sales for the reporting quarter decreased 1.1 per cent year on year to $1.170 billion, from new store growth at Maurices and positive combined comparable sales at Lane Bryant, Maurices, and Catherines.

For full fiscal 2015, Ascena recorded a loss from continuing operations of $1.46 per diluted share as a result of the charges as against earnings from continuing operations of $0.84 per diluted share in fiscal 2014.

Adjusted earnings from continuing operations for the full fiscal 2015 were $0.59 per diluted share vis-à-vis $1.00 per diluted share in the fiscal ago period.

"On the operating front, Justice had a difficult quarter as expected and Dressbarn missed expectations due to assortment challenges,” Ascena said.

The Company ended fiscal 2015 with cash and cash equivalents of $240.6 million and total debt of $116.0 million, compared to $156.9 million of cash and cash equivalents and $172.0 million of total debt at fiscal 2014 end.

“As we move into Fall, we are excited about the new Justice selling model, where back-to-school performance exceeded our expectations,” CEO at Ascena Retail David Jaffe said.

“We are mindful that traffic continues to be challenging and our brands remain focused on strong merchandising execution, and disciplined inventory and expense management,” he added.

“We are making good progress toward the multi-year development of our enterprise omni-channel platform, which is a key element of our long-term growth plan,” Jaffe noted.

Jaffe further added that with the acquisition of Ann Inc, their shared services group is aggressively working to capture the $150 million of identified deal synergies.

“We feel very good about the unique and scalable model we are creating, and believe we are positioned well for the long term," he observed.

Ascena Retail Group is a specialty retailer offering clothing, shoes, and accessories under the Ann Taylor, Loft, Lou & Grey, Lane Bryant, Cacique, Maurices, Dressbarn, Justice and Catherines brands.

The apparel marketer operates through its subsidiaries approximately 4,900 stores throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. (AR)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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