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Gross margins expands 540 bps in Q4FY15 at JC Penney
Mar '15
For the fourth fiscal quarter ended January 31, 2014, which included a successful holiday season, gross margin improved 540 basis points year over year at apparel retailer, JC Penney.

For the fourth fiscal quarter of 2014, gross margin expanded 540 basis points to 33.8 per cent of sales, compared to 28.4 per cent in the same quarter last year.

“Gross margin was positively impacted by significant improvement in the Company's merchandise mix and margin on clearance sales over the prior year quarter,” JC Penney said in a press release.

The apparel retailer reported net sales of $3.89 billion as against $3.78 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, while, comparable store sales rose 4.4 per cent for the quarter.

Online sales through jcpenney.com amounted to $428 million for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2014, up 12.5 per cent versus the same period in 2013.

According to JC Penney, men's apparel, home and fine jewelry were its top performing merchandise divisions during the quarter.

“Geographically, all regions delivered sales gains over the same period last year with the best performance in the central and western regions of the US,” the retailer added.

SG&A expenses for the reporting quarter were up $28 million from the year earlier quarter to $1.032 billion or 26.5 per cent of sales.

Operating income for the quarter under review was $63 million, which represents a $201 million increase over last year.

JC Penney also said that EBITDA witnessed a $197 million improvement from the same period last year to $220 million in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2014. .

Adjusted net income for the fourth quarter of 2014 improved $206 million to breakeven, while, net income for the quarter was a loss of $59 million as against a gain of $35 million last year.

CEO Myron Ullman said, "We significantly grew sales and gross margin and delivered on our goal to generate positive free cash flow, representing a $2.8 billion improvement over last year.”

“We are back in the eyes of our customers, running the business effectively and back on solid financial footing and we intend to build on this momentum and continue to significantly improve our business,” he added.

Marvin Ellison, president said, "I have been very impressed by what I have seen in my first few months at JC Penney.

“I believe 2015 will be an important year for JC Penney, and the team is focused on profitably executing our business," he too added. (AR)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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