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Tough environment lowers ANF's performance in Q4

16
Feb '12
Abercrombie & Fitch Co reported unaudited results which reflected net income of $19.6 million and net income per diluted share of $0.22 for the thirteen weeks ended January 28, 2012, compared to net income of $92.6 million and net income per diluted share of $1.03 for the thirteen weeks ended January 29, 2011.

The Company also reported net income of $127.7 million and net income per diluted share of $1.43 for the fifty-two weeks ended January 28, 2012, compared to net income of $150.3 million and net income per diluted share of $1.67 for the fifty-two weeks ended January 29, 2011.

Excluding charges for impairments and write-downs of store-related long-lived assets, charges related to store closures and lease exits, and other charges associated with legal settlements during the quarter and with a change in intent regarding the Company's auction rate securities, the Company reported adjusted, non-GAAP net income per diluted share of $1.12 for the thirteen weeks ended January 28, 2012 and $2.31 for the fifty-two weeks ended January 28, 2012.

Mike Jeffries, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Abercrombie & Fitch Co., said:

"Our results for the fourth quarter were below our expectations in an extremely challenging environment. However, we are confident that we are on track with our long term strategy of leveraging the international appeal of our iconic brands to build a highly profitable, sustainable, global business. The overall economics of our business in Europe, in our U.S. tourist stores and in our DTC business remain very strong."

Net sales for the thirteen weeks ended January 28, 2012 increased 16% to $1.329 billion from $1.149 billion for the thirteen weeks ended January 29, 2011. Total U.S. sales, including direct-to-consumer sales, increased 4% to $962.2 million. Total international sales, including direct-to-consumer sales, increased 62% to $366.6 million. Total Company direct-to-consumer sales, including shipping and handling, increased 41% to $212.3 million.

Total comparable store sales for the quarter were flat to last year. By brand, comparable store sales decreased 4% for Abercrombie & Fitch, decreased 3% for abercrombie kids and increased 2% for Hollister Co. Total sales by brand were $504.0 million for Abercrombie & Fitch, $123.9 million for abercrombie kids and $675.3 million for Hollister Co.

The gross profit rate for the fourth quarter was 56.1%, 750 basis points lower than last year's fourth quarter gross profit rate. The decrease in the gross profit rate was driven primarily by an increase in average unit cost combined with lower than expected sales and higher markdowns driven by a more aggressive promotional environment than anticipated.

Stores and distribution expense for the fourth quarter was $602.1 million, or 45.3% of net sales. Excluding charges for impairments and write-downs of store-related long-lived assets of $82.7million and charges related to store closures and lease exits of $19.0 million, stores and distribution expense for the fourth quarter was $500.5 million or 37.7% of sales. Excluding the effect of store-related asset impairment charges and store closure charges, the stores and distribution expense rate was flat to last year.


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