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Jones Q4 results reflects today's macroeconomic situations
11
Feb '10
Jones Apparel Group, Inc. reported results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2009. Revenues for the fourth quarter of 2009 were $777 million, as compared with $847 million for the fourth quarter of 2008. Revenues for the full year 2009 were $3,327 million, as compared with $3,616 million for the full year 2008. The fourth quarter decrease in revenues of 8% was as anticipated and reflective of the overall economic conditions that continue to affect retail sales in general. Gross profit margin increased 480 basis points to 34.3% for the fourth quarter, reflecting the benefits of careful inventory management.

The Company reported adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations ("EPS") of $0.11 for the fourth quarter of 2009, as compared with adjusted earnings per share of ($0.04) for the same period last year. The 2009 and 2008 fourth quarter adjusted results exclude charges related to the impairments of goodwill and trademarks in our retail, jeanswear and footwear and accessories businesses, the impact of severance and other costs related to restructuring activities initiated across the Company, and certain other costs. Adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations on a full year basis were $1.14 in 2009 versus $0.87 per share in the prior year (see reconciliation of adjusted earnings to reported earnings in the accompanying schedule).

As reported under generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"), the Company reported a loss of ($1.53) per share from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 2009, as compared with a loss of ($9.86) for the same period last year. The 2009 results include non-cash impairment charges of approximately $150 million ($138 million after tax) for certain goodwill and trademarks within our Retail and Wholesale Jeanswear and Wholesale Footwear and Accessories businesses, while the 2008 results include non-cash impairment charges of approximately $838 million ($810 million after tax) for certain goodwill and trademarks within our Wholesale Footwear and Accessories business. Such charges were a result of the Company's required annual testing under GAAP. The fourth quarter results also include severance and other costs related to restructuring activities initiated across the Company, and certain other charges totaling $4 million ($2 million after tax) and $13 million ($9 million after tax) in 2009 and 2008, respectively.

Wesley R. Card, Jones Apparel Group Chief Executive Officer, stated: "We are encouraged by the strength of our brands and retail partnerships as we look ahead to 2010. We have focused on revitalizing our core brands and organizational structure and have enhanced our product offerings by acquiring new brands and developing new partnerships. We also streamlined our supply chain and distribution networks and closed marginally profitable businesses. Our retail improvement plan is showing positive results. We have already closed approximately100 retail locations, with an additional 165 locations to close in 2010. Today, we are a leading department store resource, and we continue to explore new opportunities to offer consumers quality products at the right price points."

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