FIRST QUARTER RESULTS
Net earnings for the fiscal 2013 first quarter were $33.1 million, or $0.65 diluted earnings per share, compared to net earnings of $26.9 million, or $0.52 diluted earnings per share last year. The Company estimates that approximately $0.10 of the increase is attributable to a tuxedo prom season shift from the second quarter. This shift is primarily caused by an earlier Easter.
Total net sales for the fiscal 2013 first quarter increased 5.1% to $616.5 million from $586.6 million for the same prior year period. Retail segment sales for the quarter increased by 4.4% or $23.5 million and corporate apparel sales increased by 13.0% or $6.5 million as compared to the prior year quarter.
The consolidated total gross margin was up $23.9 million or 9.4% with the total gross margin rate increasing 177 basis points primarily because of the favorable penetration of tuxedo revenues. The retail segment total gross margin was up 8.2% and the corporate apparel gross margin increased 31.6%.
SG&A expenses increased by $12.3 million or 5.8% and increased 22 basis points primarily due to higher store and non-store payroll related costs, including increased medical benefit costs, and higher advertising expense.
Because fiscal 2012 was a 53 week year, comparable store sales for the current year are shown on a trailing 52 week basis, comparing the most relevant time periods, as well as on a fiscal period basis.
The fiscal period basis is higher than the trailing basis comparison primarily due to the favorable calendar shift for prom tuxedo rental revenues into the fiscal first quarter. There will be an offsetting unfavorable calendar shift primarily in the second quarter resulting in a mostly neutral full year impact.
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