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ANF CEO remains cautious on near-term sales trends
Feb '12
Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) reported on the Company's performance for the quarter ended January 28, 2012. Net sales increased 16% to $1.329 billion for the quarter, compared to net sales of $1.149 billion for the fiscal quarter ended January 29, 2011.

Comparable store sales for the quarter were flat to last year. Comparable store sales for the quarter were below expectations, primarily due to lower than expected sales in U.S. stores.

Total U.S. sales, including direct-to-consumer sales, increased 4% to $962.2 million. Total international sales, including direct-to-consumer sales, increased 62% to $366.6 million. Total Company direct-to-consumer sales, including shipping and handling, increased 41% to $212.3 million.

Gross margin erosion for the quarter is now expected to be approximately 750 basis points, as a result of lower than expected sales and higher markdowns driven by a more aggressive promotional environment than anticipated.

With regard to 2012, the Company now projects earnings per share in the range of $3.50 to $3.75. This projection is based on an assumption of flat same store sales for 2012.

Mike Jeffries, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Abercrombie & Fitch Co., said:

"Our sales for the quarter were below expectations in a highly promotional environment, and our results were further affected by all-time high cotton costs. We remain cautious on near-term sales trends; however, we are confident that we are on track with our assortment and our long-term strategy, and hope to see improvement as 2012 progresses."

Abercrombie & Fitch

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