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dELiA*s Inc announces Q2 fiscal results
29
Aug '08
dELiA*s Inc, a direct marketing and retail company comprised of three lifestyle brands primarily targeting consumers between the ages of 12 and 19, announced the results for the second quarter ended August 2, 2008.

Fiscal Second Quarter Results:
Total revenue increased 10.8% to $58.1 million from $52.4 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2007 driven by increases in both segments, with a greater percentage increase in the retail segment. Revenue from the retail segment increased 22.0% to $23.6 million, or 40.6% of total revenue. Revenue from the direct segment increased 4.3% to $34.5 million, or 59.4% of total revenue.

Total gross margin increased to 35.3% in the second quarter of fiscal 2008 as compared to 34.6% in the second quarter of fiscal 2007. The increase was driven primarily by higher merchandise margins at dELiA*s Retail and dELiA*s Direct, reflecting improvements in initial mark-ups and full price selling. These improvements were partially offset by higher shipping costs in the direct segment.

Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses were $25.3 million compared to $23.4 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2007. As a percentage of sales, SG&A improved to 43.4% of sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2008 from 44.7% of sales for the prior year's quarter.

The improvement in SG&A as a percentage of sales was primarily due to the Company's ability to leverage selling and other operating expenses on increased sales. The operating loss for the quarter was thus reduced by $0.6 million, or by 200 basis points as a percentage of sales, compared to last year.

The net loss for the second quarter of fiscal 2008 was $5.0 million, or $0.16 per diluted share, as compared to a net loss of $5.1 million, or $0.16 per diluted share, in the second quarter of fiscal 2007, reflecting increased interest expense and a provision for income taxes in this quarter, compared to a tax benefit in last year's results.

Robert Bernard, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are pleased with the progress we made in the second quarter. For the retail segment, we achieved positive comparable store sales growth and increased segment sales, driven by growth in our store base over the past year. For the direct segment, we achieved steady sales and margin growth, driven largely by the strong performance of our dELiA*s Direct brand.

“We are pleased with our important back-to-school selling period so far, with high single-digit comps in July and continued strength thus far in August,” Mr. Bernard continued. “We have said that back-to-school would mark an inflection point for the dELiA*s brand, and these results are indicative of why we are quite optimistic about our future.

Early indications are that we are seeing a payback for the investments we made earlier in the year in merchandising, store operations, and inventory planning and allocation. We intend to continue to drive sales growth and margin improvement as we carefully manage our business through this challenging retail environment.”


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