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Destination Maternity reports improved fiscal 2011 Q1 sales
07
Jan '11
Destination Maternity Corporation, the world's leading maternity apparel retailer, reported sales for the month of December 2010, and announced that it expects its first quarter fiscal 2011 earnings to exceed the top end of its prior earnings guidance range and to significantly exceed last year's first quarter earnings.

Net sales for the month of December 2010 increased 0.7% to $47.1 million from $46.7 million reported for the month of December 2009.

The increase in total reported sales for December 2010 compared to December 2009 resulted primarily from increased sales due to the opening of an additional 217 Sears and Kmart leased department locations in September and October 2010, increased Internet sales, and the increase in comparable store sales, partially offset by decreased sales related to the Company's continued efforts to close underperforming stores.

Net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 increased 1.2% to $135.4 million from $133.8 million reported for the first quarter of fiscal 2009.

The increase in total reported sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 resulted primarily from the increase in comparable store sales, increased sales due to the opening of an additional 217 Sears and Kmart leased department locations in September and October 2010, and increased Internet sales, partially offset by decreased sales related to the Company's continued efforts to close underperforming stores and decreased sales from the Company's licensed relationship.

Ed Krell, Chief Executive Officer & President of Destination Maternity, noted, "We are very pleased with the improvement of our sales performance for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 and the continued progress we are making in improving the profitability of our business. We expect our GAAP diluted earnings per share for the first quarter to exceed the top end of our prior earnings guidance range of $0.51 to $0.66 per share that we provided in our November 18, 2010 press release, and to be significantly higher than last year's first quarter GAAP diluted earnings of $0.20 per share.

"Our sales performance for the first quarter was at the high end of our sales guidance, with our comparable store sales increase of 1.2% exceeding the top end of our guidance range of down 1.5% to up 0.5%, and our total sales of $135.4 million at the top end of our sales guidance range of $132.5 to $135.5 million provided in our November 18 press release.

"In looking at our sales results for the month of December, which were stronger than planned but not as strong as our November sales results, it is important to note that, as we have previously stated, we believe that the weather patterns compared to last year had a meaningful impact on the timing of sales, with sales this year shifted into November from December compared to last year, due to colder than normal weather this November and much warmer than normal weather in November 2009.

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