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Charming Shoppes posts 3.4% drop in FY12' sales
Mar '12
Charming Shoppes Inc. a leading apparel retailer specializing in women's plus-size apparel, reported sales and operating results for the three and twelve months ended January 28, 2012.

Anthony M. Romano, President and Chief Executive Officer of Charming Shoppes, Inc. said, "I am very pleased with our results for the 2011 fiscal year. In the face of rising product costs, restrained consumer spending and an intensely promotional holiday environment, we delivered an Adjusted EBITDA increase of 62% to $81.4 million, generated operating income for the first time in four years, increased our gross margin by 90 basis points, leveraged our SG&A and Occupancy and Buying expenses by a combined 70 basis points as a percent of sales and generated cash of $51.1 million."

Commenting on the quarter, Romano said, "We are pleased to have delivered our fifth consecutive quarter of improved year over year results, with an Adjusted EBITDA increase of $2.0 million, or 19%, to $12.7 million for the fourth quarter.

Our fourth quarter results, however, were below our expectations as the impact of higher product costs and a challenging promotional environment created gross profit pressures, specifically at Lane Bryant. In response, we went on the offensive and chose to offer deeper-than-planned discounts to ensure seasonal unit sell-throughs. Nonetheless, we were able to fully offset the impact of these pressures through reductions in both SG&A and Occupancy and Buying expenses.

"At each of our brands, we continued to execute on our merchandise strategy, which included a shift from year-round basic apparel to a better mix of seasonal, faster-turning novelty and fashion assortments. We maintained our disciplined inventory management to reduce overall inventory levels. Our consolidated comparable store inventories at cost at the end of the period were 8% lower than the prior year period, with units decreasing by 13%."

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Charming Shoppes Inc

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