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Le Château reports record year-end earnings
18
Apr '09
Le Château Inc reported that net earnings for the 53-week period ended January 31, 2009 increased 18.4% to $38.6 million from $32.6 million for the 52-week period ended January 26, 2008. Earnings per share (basic) for the year increased 20.0% to $1.56 per share from $1.30 per share the previous year.

Earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the year increased 9.2% to $74.5 million or 21.6% of sales, compared to $68.2 million or 20.3% of sales last year, resulting primarily from continued improvements in gross margins.

Sales for the 53-week period ended January 31, 2009 increased 2.8% to $345.6 million compared to $336.1 million for the 52-week period ended January 26, 2008. Comparable store sales decreased by 2.7% over the same period a year ago. During the year, the Company opened twelve new stores and expanded nine existing locations, resulting in the addition of 83,000 square feet or 8.6% to the Le Château network, bringing the total floor space at end of year to 1,048,000 square feet.

In June 2008, the Toronto Stock Exchange approved the Company's previously announced normal course issuer bid to purchase up to 925,148 Class A subordinate voting shares. Since June 19, 2008, the Company purchased 920,700 Class A subordinate voting shares at an average price of $11.44 per share for a total of $10.5 million.

Fourth quarter results:
Net earnings for the 14-week period ended January 31, 2009 increased 6.5% to $13.2 million from $12.4 million the 13-week period ended January 26, 2008. Earnings per share (basic) for the period increased 10.2% to $0.54 per share from $0.49 per share last year. Earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the fourth quarter increased 3.0% to $23.9 million or 23.3% of sales, compared to $23.2 million or 23.2% of sales last year.

Sales rose 2.6% to $102.6 million for the 14-week period ended January 31, 2009, compared to $100.0 million for the 13-week period ended January 26, 2008. Comparable store sales decreased 5.4% versus the same period a year ago.

Le Château Inc


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