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Charlotte Russe announces Q3 financial results
24
Jul '08
Charlotte Russe Holding Inc announced financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 ended June 28, 2008.

Third quarter highlights:
• Net sales increased 7.2% to $193.2 million compared to $180.3 million last year. Comparable store sales declined 6.5%.
• Operating income was $10.4 million versus $15.5 million in fiscal 2007.
• Net income was $6.6 million, or $0.31 per diluted share, compared to $10.1 million, or $0.40 per diluted share, in the third quarter of fiscal 2007.
• Comparable store inventories were down 10.4% at the close of the quarter.

Nine month highlights:
• Net sales totaled $616.5 million, an increase of 12.0% versus $550.6 million a year ago. Comparable stores sales decreased 0.8%.
• Operating income was $37.0 million compared to $41.5 million in the first nine months of fiscal 2007.
• Net income was $24.8 million, or $1.04 per diluted share, versus $27.9 million, or $1.09 per diluted share, a year ago.

Commenting on the results, Len Mogil, Interim Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Although third quarter comparable store sales results were lower than expected, we were able to deliver earnings of $0.31 per share, at the low end of our guidance range."

Mogil continued, "While we are enthusiastic about our new Back-to-School assortments that arrived in stores earlier this week, we remain cautious about consumer sentiment. We are focused on delivering trend right product, appropriately managing inventory and tightly controlling costs.

Additionally, we are assuming a more conservative approach to square footage growth for next year and currently expect to open 20-30 new stores in fiscal 2009. I look forward to working with the Board and management on many initiatives to strengthen the business and build value over the long-term."

Outlook:
Based on the current operating environment and recent sales trends at Charlotte Russe, the Company expects fourth quarter comparable store sales to be in the range of negative low to mid-single digit.

Earnings per diluted share are expected to be between $0.15 and $0.23, excluding cash and non-cash charges related to the departure of the Company's former CEO, as well as transition costs. This compares to a comparable store sales decline of 5.3% and diluted earnings per share of $0.33 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007.

New Store Openings:
The Company opened 21 new stores during the third quarter, bringing the year-to-date total to 39 new locations. Approximately 18 stores are expected to open during the fourth quarter for an anticipated total of 57 new store openings in fiscal year 2008.

Charlotte Russe Holding Inc


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