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Express Q4’13 operating income plunges

March 12, 2014 (United States Of America)

Express, Inc., a specialty retail apparel chain operating approximately 630 stores, announced fourth quarter and full year 2013 financial results.  These results cover the 13 and 52 week periods ended February 1, 2014 and compare to the 14 and 53 week periods ended February 2, 2013.  
 
Comparable sales for the fourth quarter and full year 2013 were calculated using the 13 and 52 week periods ended February 1, 2014 compared to the 13 and 52 week periods ended February 2, 2013, respectively.
 
Fourth Quarter 2013 Operating Results (for the 13 week period ended February 1, 2014 compared to the 14 week period ended February 2, 2013):
-Net sales for the fourth quarter were $715.9 million.  Net sales for the fourth quarter of 2012 were $731.7 million, including approximately $27.0 million related to the fourteenth week in last year's fourth quarter. 
-Comparable sales (including e-commerce sales) increased 1% compared to a 1.5% increase in last year's fourth quarter.  E-commerce sales increased 14% to $138.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 (13 weeks) compared to last year's 14 week fourth quarter. 
-Gross margin as a percentage of net sales declined 300 basis points over last year's fourth quarter and represented 32.0% of net sales.  Merchandise margin declined by 220 basis points reflecting the intensely promotional nature of the holiday period and January.  -Buying and occupancy costs as a percentage of sales rose by 80 basis points.
-Selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) expenses were $144.1 million versus $144.4 million in last year's fourth quarter.  As a percentage of net sales, SG&A expenses rose by 40 basis points to 20.1% compared to 19.7% in last year's fourth quarter.
-Operating income was $85.4 million, or 11.9% of net sales, compared to $111.4 million, or 15.2% of net sales, in the fourth quarter of 2012.  Operating income in the fourth quarter of 2012 included approximately $5.2 million related to the fourteenth week.
-Income tax expense was $31.8 million, at an effective tax rate of 39.9%, compared to $42.1 million, at an effective tax rate of 39.7% in last year's fourth quarter.
-Net income was $47.9 million, or $0.57 per diluted share.  This compares to net income of $63.9 million, or $0.75 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2012, with 2012's fourteenth week contributing approximately $0.04 per diluted share.
 
Click here to view full results.
 

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