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Urban Outfitters delivers 17% sales growth for Q4
08
Mar '11
Urban Outfitters Inc, a leading lifestyle specialty retail company operating under the Anthropologie, Free People, Leifsdottir, Terrain and Urban Outfitters brands, announced earnings of $75 million and $273 million for the fourth quarter and year ended January 31, 2011, respectively. Earnings per diluted share were $0.45 for the quarter and $1.60 for the year.

Total Company net sales rose by 14% over the same quarter last year to $668 million. Comparable retail segment net sales, which include our direct-to-consumer channels, improved 4% for the quarter while comparable store net sales decreased 2% for the quarter. Comparable retail segment net sales at Anthropologie, Free People and Urban Outfitters increased 1%, 28%, and 5% respectively for the quarter. Direct-to-consumer comparable net sales soared 28% and wholesale segment net sales rose 31% for the quarter.
"I am pleased to announce record sales and operating profits for the quarter, as well as our second highest operating margin rate for the fourth quarter and year," said Glen T. Senk, Chief Executive Officer. "It was another year of strong performance as we delivered 17% sales growth, 22% operating income growth, and executed our long standing goal of growing profits faster than sales," finished Mr. Senk.

For the fourth quarter ended January 31, 2011, gross profit margin percentage declined by 208 basis points versus the prior year's comparable period. This decrease was primarily due to increased merchandise markdowns to clear seasonal inventory associated with changing women's apparel fashion trends, along with higher shipping costs associated with increased penetration of international direct-to-consumer business.

For the year ended January 31, 2011, gross profit margin improved by 62 basis points versus the prior year's comparable period. The increase was primarily due to improved merchandise margins and leveraging of store occupancy expense driven by positive comparable store sales.

As of January 31, 2011, total comparable retail segment inventories (which includes our direct-to-consumer channel) increased by 10% at cost while total comparable store inventory increased by 4% at cost. Total inventories grew by $43 million or 23%, on a year-over-year basis, driven primarily by the acquisition of inventory to stock new retail stores.

For the fourth quarter ended January 31, 2011, selling, general and administrative expenses, expressed as a percentage of net sales, increased by 7 basis points. This increase was primarily due to continued investments in systems, international expansion and start up expenses for BHLDN which launched on February 14th, 2011. For the year ended January 31, 2011, selling, general and administration expenses, expressed as a percentage of net sales, decreased by 11 basis points versus the prior comparable period. This decrease was primarily due to leveraging of direct store fixed and controllable costs helped by the positive comparable retail segment sales during the year.

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