The Children's Place Retail Stores, Inc., the largest pure-play children's specialty apparel retailer in North America, announced financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2013 periods ended February 1, 2014.
Fourth Quarter 2013 Results
The Company follows the retail 4-5-4 reporting calendar, which included a 53rd week in 2012. Net sales were $467.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. The quarter included the negative impact of approximately $3.9 million from currency exchange rate fluctuations. On a constant currency basis, sales for the quarter would have been $471.4 million. This compares to net sales of $509.2 million for the 14-week quarter in 2012, and sales of $480.1 million for the comparable 13 weeks in 2012.
Comparable retail sales declined 4.3% for the 13 week period ended February 1, 2014, following an increase of 4.9% for the 13 week period ending February 2, 2013.
"The Children's Place delivered fiscal 2013 earnings near the top end of our guidance range despite an intensely promotional environment and a series of storms brought on by the polar vortex in the fourth quarter," said Jane Elfers, President and Chief Executive Officer. "2013 was a challenging year but we demonstrated our ability to deliver solid financial results through a combination of superior value, tight expense discipline, strong merchandise offerings that resonated with our customers and well-controlled inventories."
Elfers continued, "We generated over $170 million in operating cash and returned $66 million to shareholders through our share repurchase program during 2013. We announced that we are expanding our capital return program in 2014 with the initiation of a quarterly dividend and a new $100 million share repurchase authorization. This program reflects our confidence in our ability to execute on our growth strategies and our continuing commitment to return excess capital to shareholders."
"In 2014, we expect to double our international store count to 65-70, significantly increase our eCommerce business, grow our wholesale business through existing and new partners, and improve the productivity of our North American fleet. In addition, we plan to complete the rollout of our ERP system which will set the foundation for enhanced sales and operating margin over time through state-of-the-art inventory management and omni-channel capabilities."
"In recognition of our significant progress over the past few years, we are changing our Company's name in 2014 from 'The Children's Place Retail Stores, Inc.' to 'The Children's Place, Inc.' to better reflect our strategic positioning as a leading global children's brand," Elfers concluded. "Looking ahead, our focus on eCommerce, international markets and the wholesale channel creates a diversified business model that positions the Company well for future growth."