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Bon-Ton CEO pleased with 2010 results; excited about 2011
16
Mar '11
The Bon-Ton Stores Inc reported results for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2010 ended January 29, 2011.

Fourth Quarter Highlights:

• Comparable store sales increased 0.8%.
• Gross margin rate was 37.0% of net sales compared with 38.2% in the prior year period.
• Operating income totaled $113.2 million, an increase of $11.8 million, compared with $101.4 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009. Operating income in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 and fiscal 2009 included non-cash charges of $1.5 million and $5.4 million, respectively, to reduce the value of long-lived and intangible assets.
• EBITDA was $140.7 million, compared with $135.3 million in the same period of fiscal 2009. EBITDA is defined as earnings before interest, income taxes and depreciation and amortization, including amortization of lease-related interests, and other impairment charges. EBITDA is not a measure recognized under generally accepted accounting principles.
• Net income totaled $85.0 million, or $4.41 per diluted share, compared with net income of $80.3 million, or $4.34 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 and fiscal 2009, the Company recorded non-cash impairment charges of $1.5 million and $5.4 million, respectively, related to long-lived and intangible assets, and in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, the Company recorded a favorable tax carry-back of $6.3 million.

Fiscal 2010 Highlights:

• Comparable store sales increased 0.9%.
• Gross margin rate was 37.6% of net sales, compared with 37.1% in the prior year.
• Operating income was $135.1 million, an increase of $48.4 million, or 56%, compared with operating income of $86.7 million in the prior year. Operating income included non-cash charges of $1.7 million and $5.9 million in fiscal 2010 and fiscal 2009, respectively, to reduce the value of long-lived and intangible assets.
• EBITDA increased $34.5 million to $243.6 million, compared with $209.1 million in the prior year (see Note 1).
• Net income totaled $21.5 million, or $1.12 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $4.1 million, or $0.24 per diluted share, in the prior year. The Company recorded non-cash impairment charges of $1.7 million and $5.9 million in fiscal 2010 and fiscal 2009, respectively, related to long-lived and intangible assets, and in fiscal 2009, the Company recorded a favorable tax carry-back of $6.3 million.

Comments

Bud Bergren, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “I am pleased to report that, as a result of successful execution of our initiatives throughout the year, we significantly improved our performance and met our financial goals for 2010. I want to extend my thanks and congratulations to the entire Bon-Ton team for their efforts. Our debt decreased by approximately $99 million and our debt to EBITDA ratio improved to 3.8x from 4.9x at the end ofthe prior fiscal year. In addition, the increase in excess borrowing capacity under our credit facility throughout 2010 positioned the Company to pay back our $75 million second lien term loan on January 31, 2011.”

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