New York & Company, Inc., a specialty apparel chain with 507 retail stores, announced results for the fourth quarter and full fiscal year ended February 1, 2014 (“fiscal year 2013”). The Company noted that fiscal year 2013 included 52 weeks versus 53 weeks in fiscal year 2012, with the additional week occurring in the fourth quarter of last year.
Gregory Scott, New York & Company’s CEO, stated: “We are pleased that our fourth quarter operating results exceeded the high end of our previously issued guidance driven by positive comparable store sales and expansion in merchandise margin, while continuing to control our operating expenses.
These results marked the eighth consecutive quarter of improved operating performance versus prior year periods, on an adjusted basis. We also continue to be pleased with our growth initiatives in eCommerce and Outlets. We ended the year with a strong balance sheet, which positions us well as we begin 2014.”
Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year 2013 Results:
As previously disclosed, during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012, the Company recognized a $4.3 million benefit to net sales, gross margin, and operating income. All comparable store sales figures and “non-GAAP” figures referred to in this release exclude this benefit.
Net sales for the 13-week period ended February 1, 2014 were $271.0 million versus net sales of $291.8 million for the 14-week period ended February 2, 2013, which includes a previously recorded benefit of $4.3 million.
In addition, the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2013 net sales results included the following:
-A comparable store sales increase of 1.2% as compared to an increase of 2.3% in the prior year fourth quarter;
-The elimination of the 53rd week recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012; and 23 fewer stores in operation during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2013 as compared to the fourth quarter of last year.
Gross margin increased 150 basis points to 28.4% versus the prior year non-GAAP adjusted gross margin rate of 26.9%. The improvement in gross margin was driven by an increase in merchandise margin resulting from improved product costs, a lower level of markdowns, and a reduction in occupancy costs. On a GAAP basis, the prior year gross margin rate was 28.0%.