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Arden B generates fourth successive profitable quarter
Mar '10
The Wet Seal Inc a leading specialty retailer to young women, announced results for its fiscal fourth quarter and full year ended January 30, 2010, and introduced guidance for the first quarter of fiscal 2010.

For the fourth quarter:

• Net sales were $151.0 million compared to net sales of $154.9 million for the prior year fourth quarter.
• Consolidated comparable store sales decreased 4.5%. Comparable store sales for Wet Seal decreased 6.7% and for Arden B increased 8.8%.
• Operating income was $9.6 million, or 6.4% of net sales, compared to $4.6 million, or 3.0% of net sales, in the prior year fourth quarter.
• The current year and prior year quarters included $0.5 million and $4.8 million, respectively, in non-cash asset impairment charges.
• Net income, including a non-cash tax benefit to reverse a deferred tax valuation allowance of $71.3 million, was $80.8 million, or $0.79 per diluted share, as compared to $4.3 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, in the prior year quarter. Excluding the tax benefit and $0.5 million in asset impairment charges, net income was $10.0 million, or $0.10 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, which exceeded guidance of $0.08 to $0.09 per diluted share. For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008, excluding the $4.8 million in asset impairment charges, net income was $9.1 million, or $0.09 per diluted share.

Ed Thomas, chief executive officer, commented, "We are pleased with our fourth quarter results, which reflect continued momentum in our turn-around of the Arden B business and progress with merchandising improvements at Wet Seal.

"The Arden B division posted its strongest comparable store sales quarter of the year and generated a fourth successive profitable quarter, with operating income of $1.9 million, or 7.7% of revenues. At Wet Seal, the fourth quarter operating results were the strongest of the year, and we believe merchandise mix improvements made by the end of the year positioned that division well to start fiscal 2010."

Mr. Thomas concluded, "I am encouraged by the solid start to fiscal 2010 in February, in which Wet Seal comparable store sales turned positive and Arden B continued to generate solid comparable stores sales increases. We feel very comfortable with our increased inventory positions, following previously diminished levels, which we believe provide opportunity for continued comparable store sales growth at both divisions."

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Wet Seal Inc

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