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Justice remains dominant player in tween girls fashion
27
May '10
Dress Barn, Inc reported sales and earnings results for its fiscal third quarter ended April 24, 2010.

Fiscal Third Quarter Results
Net earnings for the fiscal third quarter increased to $48.0 million, or $0.59 per diluted share, compared to recast GAAP net earnings of $23.1 million, or $0.37 per diluted share for the third quarter of fiscal 2009. The Company noted that results for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 have been recast to include non-cash, imputed interest from the adoption of ASC 470-20 as further described below.

Net earnings on a non-GAAP basis increased to $49.0 million, or $0.60 per diluted share, compared to net earnings for the third quarter of 2009 of $23.4 million, or $0.38 per share. During the quarter, the Company incurred a total of $1.6 million of pretax charges for certain items that management believes are not indicative of ongoing operations. These charges include merger-related costs and charges related to a deferred compensation plan. The Company believes it is valuable for users of the Company's financial statements to be made aware of the non-GAAP financial information as such measures are used by management to evaluate the operating performance of the Company on a comparable basis. Accordingly, a GAAP to non-GAAP reconciliation of results is provided later in this release.

Net sales for the fiscal third quarter ended April 24, 2010 increased 77% to $665.5 million compared to $375.7 million for the fiscal third quarter ended April 25, 2009. The strong sales increase was primarily due to the inclusion of Justice sales, which accounted for $245.1 million of the total increase of $289.8 million. Consolidated comparable store sales for Dress Barn, Inc. for the quarter increased 14%.

By division, net sales for dressbarn increased 9% to $242.5 million, compared to $223.2 million last year, with a comparable store sales increase of 9%. Net sales for maurices increased 17% to $177.9 million, compared to $152.5 million last year, with a comparable store sales increase of 8%. Net sales during this quarterly period for Justice were $245.1 million, with comparable store sales increasing 23%.

SG&A expenses for the fiscal third quarter were $194.9 million, or 29.3% of sales, compared to $103.1 million, or 27.4% of sales in the prior year's comparable period. SG&A expenses on a non-GAAP basis were $193.3 million, or 29.0% of sales, compared to $102.6 million, or 27.3% of sales in the prior year's comparable period. The increase of 170 basis points as a percent of sales was primarily due to the inclusion of Justice, which had a slightly higher SG&A rate and increased incentive compensation costs due to significantly better-than-planned earnings results.

Operating income for the fiscal third quarter was $76.7 million, or 11.5% of sales compared to $40.3 million, or 10.7% of sales in the prior year third quarter. On a non-GAAP basis operating income increased to $78.3 million, or 11.8% of sales compared to $40.8 million, or 10.9% of sales in the prior year third quarter. This increase is primarily due to improved gross profit and leverage from increased comparable store sales.


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