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Apparel retailer Express sales climb 8% in Q4 FY'13
13
Mar '13
Express, Inc, a specialty retail apparel chain operating more than 620 stores, announced fourth quarter and full year 2012 financial results for the fourteen and fifty-three week periods ended February 2, 2013.  This compares to 2011, which was a fifty-two week year that included thirteen weeks in the fourth quarter.  Comparable sales for the fourth quarter and full year 2012 were calculated using the fourteen and fifty-three week periods ending February 4, 2012, respectively.

Fourth Quarter Operating Results (the fourteen week period ended February 2, 2013 compared to the thirteen week period ended January 28, 2012):

Net sales increased 8% to $728.7 million from $673.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 and included $27.0 million related to the fourteenth week;

Comparable sales, which compares the fourteen week period ended February 2, 2013 to the fourteen week period ended February 4, 2012 and is inclusive of e-commerce sales, increased 1.5%, following a 5% increase in the fourth quarter of 2011;

Gross margin was 35.1% of net sales compared to 37.2% in the fourth quarter of 2011;

Selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) expenses totaled $144.4 million, or 19.8% of net sales, compared to $141.6 million, or 21.0% of net sales, in the fourth quarter of 2011, which included non-core operating costs before tax of $0.4 million related to the secondary offering completed in December 2011;

Operating income was $111.4 million, or 15.3% of net sales, compared to $108.9 million, or 16.2% of net sales, in the fourth quarter of 2011;

Interest expense totaled $5.2 million compared to $8.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, which included a $2.4 million loss on extinguishment of debt before tax related to the full prepayment of the $125 million Term Loan;

Income tax expense was $42.1 million, at an effective tax rate of 39.7%, compared to $40.8 million, at an effective tax rate of 40.3%, in the fourth quarter of 2011; and

Net income was $63.9 million, or $0.75 per diluted share, with the fourteenth week contributing approximately $0.04 per diluted share.  This compares to net income of $60.4 million, or $0.68 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2011, which included the following non-core operating costs after tax: (i) $0.3 million, or approximately $0.01 per diluted share, of costs related to the secondary offering completed in December 2011; and (ii) a $1.5 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, loss on extinguishment of debt related to the full prepayment of the $125 million Term Loan.  Net income in the fourth quarter of 2011, adjusted for non-core operating costs noted above, was $62.1 million, or $0.70 per diluted share.

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