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Ann Taylor comments on Q1 results at Annual Meeting
May '09
Ann Taylor Stores Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Kay Krill told shareholders at the Company's Annual Meeting that, while sales results in the first quarter were softer than expected -- specifically at the Ann Taylor division -- the Company expects to report a stronger bottom line than analysts have been expecting.

"Our performance in the first quarter has benefited from strong gross margins and the significant expense savings that we have achieved through our strategic restructuring program. However, our top-line results continued to be negatively impacted by the significant decline in consumer spending, especially for women's apparel, and by a product offering at the Ann Taylor division that was not compelling and did not yet reflect the evolution of the brand, which will begin this Fall.

Nevertheless, we did manage our expenses and our inventories very well in the quarter, and we were successful in delivering a first quarter 2009 gross margin rate that was much higher than the gross margin rate we reported in the fourth quarter of 2008. As a result, we expect to report a first quarter 2009 loss per diluted share that is much better than the current First Call consensus estimate," stated Ms. Krill.

Ann Taylor Stores Corporation

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