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The Children's Place makes significant progress in 2010
09
Mar '11
The Children's Place Retail Stores Inc, the largest pure-play children's specialty apparel retailer in North America, announced financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2010 periods ended January 29, 2011.

Net sales from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 2010 were $453.2 million, a 2.1% decline compared to $462.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2009. Comparable retail sales, which include online sales, declined 5.9% in the fourth quarter of 2010. Comparable store sales declined 9.0% in the U.S. and 6.2% in Canada, while comparable online sales increased 31.7%.

Income from continuing operations after tax for the fourth quarter of 2010 was $32.7 million, or $1.24 per diluted share. Income from continuing operations after tax for the fourth quarter of 2009 was $34.2 million, or $1.23 per diluted share. Excluding transactions that affect comparability between the quarters, adjusted income from continuing operations after tax increased 13% to $32.3 million, or $1.22 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to $28.5 million, or $1.03 per diluted share, the prior year. The Company's repurchase of 1.9 million shares during fiscal 2010 resulted in a 9 cent per diluted share benefit during the fourth quarter.

Adjusted income from continuing operations after tax is a non-GAAP measure. The Company believes the excluded transactions are not indicative of the performance of its core business and that by providing this supplemental disclosure to investors it will facilitate comparisons of its past and present performance. A reconciliation of net income from continuing operations as reported is included in this press release in Table 3.

Jane Elfers, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We exceeded our bottom-line financial goals for the fourth quarter, despite lower sales, due to expense reductions and solid gross margin expansion. Our disciplined inventory management resulted in fewer markdowns and the strongest fourth quarter gross margin rate in four years."

"The Children's Place made significant progress in 2010. We increased top-line sales through growth in our e-commerce business and the opening of 67 new stores, primarily in value centers. We significantly strengthened our management team and made solid progress on our five key growth initiatives," Elfers continued. "The decision to authorize another $100 million share repurchase program is consistent with the Company's commitment to increasing returns on capital and creating long-term shareholder value."

Fiscal Year Financial Results

For fiscal 2010, net sales from continuing operations increased 1.8% to $1,674.0 million, compared to $1,643.6 million for fiscal 2009. Comparable retail sales for fiscal 2010 declined 2.5%. Comparable store sales declined 4.7% in the U.S. and 4.9% in Canada, while comparable online sales increased 29.5%.

For fiscal 2010, income from continuing operations after tax was $83.6 million, or $3.05 per diluted share. Income from continuing operations after tax for fiscal 2009 was $88.8 million, or $3.09 per diluted share. Excluding transactions that affect comparability between the years, adjusted income from continuing operations after tax increased 10% to $83.2 million, or $3.03 per diluted share, in fiscal 2010, compared to $75.8 million, or $2.64 per diluted share, the prior year. The Company's repurchase of 1.9 million shares during fiscal 2010 resulted in an 8 cent per diluted share benefit for the year.

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