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Ann delivers satisfactory Q1 FY'12 sales
25
May '12
Ann Inc. reported results for the fiscal first quarter of 2012, ended April 28, 2012. The Company also provided its outlook for the second quarter and the full year of fiscal 2012.

For the fiscal first quarter of 2012, the Company reported earnings per diluted share of $0.58, compared with earnings per diluted share of $0.51 in the first quarter of 2011.

Fiscal 2012 First Quarter Results
Total net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 were $560.4 million, compared with net sales of $523.6 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2011. By brand, net sales across all channels of the Ann Taylor brand totaled $212.4 million in the first quarter of 2012, compared with net sales of $222.9 million in the first quarter of 2011.

At the LOFT brand, net sales across all channels were $348.0 million in the first quarter of 2012, compared with net sales of $300.8 million in the first quarter of 2011.

Total Company comparable sales for the quarter increased 3.8% versus the first quarter of 2011. At Ann Taylor, total brand comparable sales decreased 6.9%, reflecting a decrease of 15.5% at Ann Taylor stores, partially offset by increases of 9.6% in the Ann Taylor e-commerce channel and 0.7% in the Ann Taylor Factory channel. At LOFT, total brand comparable sales increased 11.3%, reflecting increases of 10.0% at LOFT stores, 29.1% in the LOFT e-commerce channel and 6.1% in the LOFT Outlet channel.

Gross margin, as a percentage of net sales, was 56.6%, versus the 57.3% gross margin rate achieved in the first quarter of 2011, reflecting a strong gross margin rate performance at Ann Taylor and a slightly lower gross margin rate at LOFT.

Selling, general and administrative expenses for the first quarter of 2012 were $272.0 million versus $254.0 million reported in the first quarter of 2011. As a percentage of net sales, selling, general and administrative expenses were flat with the prior year at 48.5%, reflecting the benefit of increased cost leverage as a result of higher net sales compared with the first quarter of Fiscal 2011, offset by an increase in expenses associated with our year-over-year store growth and other expenses supporting the expansion of our business.

The Company reported operating income of $45.4 million for the quarter, compared with operating income of $45.9 million in the first quarter of 2011. Net income for the first quarter was $28.7 million, or $0.58 per diluted share, compared with net income of $27.3 million, or $0.51 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2011.

The Company ended the quarter with approximately $106 million in cash and cash equivalents, following the repurchase of approximately 1.5 million shares at a cost of $35 million during the fiscal first quarter of 2012.

Total inventory per square foot, excluding e-commerce, at the end of the first quarter increased 3% versus year-ago, reflecting a 3% increase at Ann Taylor stores, a 7% increase at LOFT stores and a 6% decrease in the factory/outlet channel. The increase at Ann Taylor stores reflects earlier receipt of goods in-transit versus last year, without which, inventory per square foot at Ann Taylor stores would have declined by approximately 5%.

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