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Third quarter is outstanding – ANN's CEO
24
Nov '11
ANN INC reported results for the fiscal third quarter of 2011, ended October 29, 2011. The Company also provided its outlook for the fourth quarter and full year of fiscal 2011.

For the fiscal third quarter of 2011, the Company reported earnings per diluted share of $0.61, compared with earnings per diluted share of $0.41 in the third quarter of 2010.

Kay Krill, President and CEO commented, "ANN INC. delivered another outstanding quarter, generating our fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit sales growth and our ninth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth in earnings and diluted earnings per share. Looking ahead to the balance of the fiscal year, we are on track to achieve another year of significant growth in sales and earnings.

"By brand, LOFT generated exceptional results, as compelling product and effective marketing drove significantly higher sales and profitability across all LOFT channels. The Ann Taylor brand delivered solid performance, reflecting outstanding results in the e-commerce channel, solid performance in the factory channel and softer-than-expected sales in the stores channel."

Fiscal 2011 Third Quarter Results
Total net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2011 were $564.0 million, compared with net sales of $505.3 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2010. By brand, net sales across all channels of the Ann Taylor brand totaled $229.7 million in the third quarter of 2011, compared with net sales of $223.2 million in the third quarter of 2010. At the LOFT brand, net sales across all channels were $334.3 million in the third quarter of 2011, compared with net sales of $282.1 million in the third quarter of 2010.

Total Company comparable sales for the quarter increased 5.5%, on top of an increase of 11.7% in the prior year. At Ann Taylor, total brand comparable sales increased 2.5%, reflecting a decline of 5.8% at Ann Taylor stores, and increases of 45.8% in the Ann Taylor e-commerce channel and 1.8% in the Ann Taylor Factory channel. At LOFT, total brand comparable sales were up 7.9%, reflecting increases of 5.9% at LOFT stores, 23.0% in the LOFT e-commerce channel and 10.9% in the LOFT Outlet channel.

Gross margin, as a percentage of net sales, was 57.5%, an increase of 30 basis points compared to the 57.2% gross margin rate achieved in the third quarter of 2010. Our strong third quarter gross margin performance was primarily driven by improved product offerings and higher full-price selling at the LOFT brand, as well as the benefits realized from growth in the e-commerce and factory/outlet channels since the third quarter of 2010.

Selling, general and administrative expenses for the third quarter of 2011 were $269.5 million, up 9% from $247.4 million in the third quarter of 2010, on a 12% increase in net sales. As a percentage of net sales, selling, general and administrative expenses declined 120 basis points to 47.8%, versus theprior year period.

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