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Dress Barn CEO pleased with third quarter results
23
May '09
Dress Barn Inc reported sales and earnings results for its fiscal third quarter ended April 25, 2009.

Fiscal Third Quarter Results
Net sales for the fiscal third quarter ended April 25, 2009 were $375.7 million, an increase of 7% from $352.6 million for the fiscal third quarter ended April 26, 2008. Comparable store sales for the quarter increased 3%.

By division, net sales for dressbarn stores increased 3% to $223.2 million compared to $216.8 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2008, driven primarily by a comparable store sales increase of 2% for the quarter. Net sales for maurices stores increased 12% to $152.5 million compared to $135.8 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2008. The increase was driven by new stores and a comparable store sales increase of 5% for the quarter.

Operating income for the quarter increased 11% to $40.3 million compared to $36.2 million for the same period last year.

Net earnings for the fiscal third quarter were $23.9 million, or $0.39 per diluted share. This compares to net earnings of $24.9 million, or $0.39 per diluted share for the same quarter of fiscal 2008.

In comparing the decrease in net earnings to the increase in operating income for the quarter, the Company noted a reduction in net interest income due to lower average interest rates and a higher effective tax rate in the current period versus the year-ago period. Last year's lower effective tax rate resulted from a one-time favorable tax adjustment.

Fiscal Nine-Month Results
Net sales for the fiscal nine months ended April 25, 2009 were $1.095 billion, an increase of 3% over $1.062 billion for the comparable fiscal nine-month period ended April 26, 2008. Comparable store sales for this period decreased 1%.

By division, net sales for dressbarn stores increased 1% to $652.5 million compared to $649.0 million for the nine-month period. Comparable store sales for this period decreased 1%. Net sales for maurices increased 7% to $442.8 million, compared to $412.9 million for the same period last year. Comparable store sales for this period were flat.

Operating income for the first nine months decreased 8% to $70.2 million compared to $75.9 million for the same period last year.

Net earnings for the first nine months of fiscal 2009 decreased 17% to $43.3 million from $52.0 million for the first nine months of fiscal 2008. Earnings per diluted share were $0.70 versus $0.81 per diluted share for the same period of fiscal 2008.

Commentary
David R. Jaffe, President and Chief Executive Officer commented, “We are pleased with our results for the third quarter. Our customer has responded positively to our Spring merchandise and enabled us to generate a comparable store sales gain despite the ongoing challenging market environment. We continue to stress our core strategy of delivering fashion-forward looks at great prices to drive value to our customers.

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