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Ann Taylor ends fiscal 2009 on a strong note
Mar '10
Ann Taylor Stores Corporation reported results for the fiscal fourth quarter and full year of 2009, ended January 30, 2010, and provided an outlook for the first quarter and full year of fiscal 2010.

For the fourth quarter of 2009, the Company reported earnings per diluted share of $0.05, excluding after-tax restructuring charges of $0.05 per diluted share, compared with a net loss per diluted share of $1.03 in the fourth quarter of 2008, excluding after-tax restructuring, goodwill and asset impairment charges totaling $5.63 per diluted share. On a GAAP basis, including the aforementioned restructuring and impairment charges, earnings per diluted share were breakeven in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared with a loss per diluted share of $6.66 in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Kay Krill, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Fiscal 2009 ended on a strong note, with fourth quarter results coming in ahead of our expectations. Our success was driven by compelling product at both Ann Taylor and LOFT, our well-executed promotional strategy and effective inventory management. Together, these accomplishments during the quarter translated into significantly improved sales and margin trends, including a substantial increase in full-price selling compared to last year, as well as higher profitability and earnings.

"We are pleased that we entered fiscal 2010 in a solid position. We have strong momentum into the first quarter, with both brands achieving comparable store sales increases of approximately 10% in February. Ann Taylor's repositioning continues to gain traction and we are excited about the product and marketing initiatives we have underway to drive continued sales improvement."

"LOFT also continues to refine and expand upon its proven formula of offering compelling and relevant fashion at great value, and we look forward to this brand's ongoing growth. We ended the year with a healthy balance sheet and no bank debt. Importantly, even as we take steps to enhance sales growth in 2010, we will be focused on delivering strong gross margin performance with a disciplined approach to inventory management. We have a talented team in place to drive profitable results and future growth."

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Ann Taylor Stores Corporation

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