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Sales dip 8.4% to $275.9mn at Talbots in Q1 FY'12
26
May '12
The Talbots Inc. reported results for the quarter ended April 28, 2012, with an increase in both operating income and adjusted operating income compared to the prior year period. The Company also commented on key initiatives and actions.

First quarter income from continuing operations was $1.2 million, or $0.02 per share, compared to last year's income from continuing operations of $0.9 million, or $0.01 per share.

Adjusted first quarter income from continuing operations was $6.0 million, or $0.09 per share, excluding special items of $4.8 million, or $0.07 per share, compared to last year's adjusted income from continuing operations of $5.3 million, or $0.08 per share.

Trudy F. Sullivan, Talbots President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are pleased to have achieved profitability in the first quarter, driven by improved merchandise margin compared to the prior year period as well as strong inventory and expense management.

"Overall, we continue to focus on further enhancing our product, re-engaging with our core customer and executing our key strategic initiatives as the Board continues to actively explore a full range of strategic alternatives."

First Quarter 2012 Operating Results
• Operating income was $5.6 million, compared to prior year's operating income of $3.2 million.
• Adjusted operating income, excluding special items of $4.8 million, was $10.5 million, an increase of $2.9 million, compared to prior year's adjusted operating income of $7.6 million.
• Net sales decreased 8.4% to $275.9 million, compared to $301.3 million in the same period last year, due in part to the impact of store closings in fiscal 2011 as a result of the Company's store rationalization plan.
• Consolidated comparable sales, which includes stores, Internet, catalog and red-line sales, decreased 3.8% compared to the prior year. Consolidated comparable sales exclude stores closed or scheduled to close under the Company's store rationalization plan.
• Store sales decreased 9.1% to $218.9 million, compared to $240.8 million in the same period last year. Comparable store sales decreased 2.2% in the first quarter of 2012, and exclude stores closed or scheduled to close under the Company's store rationalization plan.
• Direct marketing sales, including Internet, catalog and red-line, decreased 5.8% in the quarter to $57.0 million, compared to $60.5 million in the same period last year.
• Cost of sales, buying and occupancy as a percent of net sales decreased 90 basis points to 63.5%, compared to 64.4% last year. This decrease was due in part to a 60 basis point improvement in merchandise margin resulting from lower levels of markdowns. Additionally, buying and occupancy as a percent of net sales leveraged 30 basis points.
• Selling, general & administrative (SG&A) expenses as a percent of net sales increased 50 basis points to 33.6% compared to the prior year. On a dollar basis SG&A decreased $7.2 million from the prior year period to $92.6 million, and included a total of $2.5 million in net expense obligations in connection with executive search and legal and advisory fees associated with the Company's exploration of strategic alternatives.

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