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Disappointing performance, Christopher & Banks Chief
15
Apr '11
Christopher & Banks Corporation, a specialty women's apparel retailer, reported results for the fiscal fourth quarter and full year ended February 26, 2011.

Results for the Fourth Quarter Ended February 26, 2011

• Total net sales for the fourth quarter were $99.6 million, as compared to $101.9 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. Same store sales decreased 1% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011.

• Gross profit was $22.8 million for the quarter, as compared to $32.5 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. Gross margin was 22.9% for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, as compared to 31.9% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010.

• Operating loss totaled $20.6 million and included a $2.8 million, or $0.06 per share, non-cash store asset impairment charge. This compares to an operating loss of $10.1 million in the same period last year, which included a $2.9 million, or $0.05 per share, non-cash store asset impairment charge.

• Net loss for the quarter totaled $16.7 million, or ($0.47) per share, including the $0.06 per share store asset impairment charge mentioned above, and an effective tax rate of 18.3% which is significantly lower than the statutory rate due to the Company's recognition of a full valuation allowance against its deferred tax assets in the third quarter of fiscal 2011. Net loss for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 totaled $6.4 million, or ($0.18) per share, including a $0.05 per share non-cash store asset impairment charge, and an effective tax rate of 35.4%.

Larry Barenbaum, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Fiscal 2011 was a challenging year for Christopher & Banks. The disappointing performance was largely the result of a merchandise assortment that did not resonate with our customers. We are transforming our merchandising strategy to update the assortment to better align with our customers' tastes and we expect this strategy to be reflected in our fall collection, which is scheduled for in-store delivery in August.

"In the meantime, we are carefully managing our inventory levels to ensure that we maintain a fresh in-store merchandise assortment. I am encouraged by the progress we are making in refreshing our merchandise assortment, enhancing our in-store experience, refining our marketing efforts and expanding our real estate strategy. We believe we are on the right path to return us to profitability and growth.”

Results for the Fiscal Year Ended February 26, 2011

• Total net sales were $448.1 million, as compared to $455.4 million for the fiscal year ended February 27, 2010. Same store sales declined 1% in fiscal 2011.

• The operating loss was $14.6 million in fiscal 2011, compared to an operating loss of $1.4 million in fiscal 2010.

• Net loss totaled $22.2 million, or ($0.63) per share, for fiscal 2011, including a non-cash store asset impairment charge of $2.8 million, or $0.06 pershare, and a non-cash charge resulting from a $12.9 million, or $0.36 per share, valuation allowance related to the Company's deferred tax assets recorded in the third quarter. As a result of the valuation allowance, the Company's effective tax rate for the year was (57.1%). Net income for fiscal 2010 totaled $0.2 million, or $0.00 per share, including a non-cash store asset impairment charge of $2.9 million, or $0.05 per share.

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