The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. reported operating results for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2012 ended February 2, 2013. Results for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2012 are impacted by the inclusion of an additional week in each period, resulting in a 14-week and 53-week reporting period, respectively, in accordance with the National Retail Federation fiscal reporting calendar. This compares with a reporting period of 13 weeks and 52 weeks in the fourth quarter and fiscal 2011, ended January 28, 2012, respectively.
“We were pleased with our fourth quarter results and our accomplishments throughout 2012. We sequentially improved the business each quarter through a number of key initiatives, including a better balanced merchandise assortment, more disciplined inventory management, enhanced marketing efforts and upgrades to our eCommerce business.”
Fourth Quarter Highlights
-Comparable store sales increased 1.0% as compared with the same 13-week period last year.
-Gross margin rate increased 160 basis points to 36.2%, compared with 34.6% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011.
-Operating income increased $14.9 million to $95.3 million, compared with $80.5 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011.
-Adjusted EBITDA increased $16.4 million to $122.8 million, compared with $106.4 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011. Adjusted EBITDA is not a measure recognized under generally accepted accounting principles.
-Net income totaled $74.4 million, or $3.71 per diluted share, compared with net income of $78.2 million, or $4.00 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011. Fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 results include income of $0.93 per diluted share associated with the net gain on extinguishment of debt.
Fiscal 2012 Highlights
-Comparable stores sales increased 0.5% as compared with the same 52-week period last year.
-Gross margin rate was 35.8%, compared with 36.0% in the prior year.
-Operating income totaled $70.0 million, compared with $66.6 million in the prior year. Operating income for fiscal 2012 includes a $7.9 million charge for severance-related costs associated with targeted reductions to the Company’s cost structure and a gain of $3.1 million related to the Company’s sale of certain Rochester, NY locations.
Adjusted EBITDA, inclusive of the aforementioned $7.9 million of severance-related costs and the gain of $3.1 million related to the Company’s sale of certain Rochester, NY locations, was $168.8 million, compared with $170.1 million in the prior year (see Note 1). Adjusted EBITDA in fiscal 2012, excluding the noted severance-related costs and the gain, was $173.7 million.