For the fiscal fourth quarter of 2012, the Company reported earnings per diluted share of $0.05, compared with earnings per diluted share of $0.04 in the fourth quarter of 2011.
For the full year of fiscal 2012, the Company reported record earnings per diluted share of $2.10, an increase of 28% compared with earnings per diluted share of $1.64 in the full year of fiscal 2011.
Fiscal 2012 Fourth Quarter Results
Total net sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 were $607.7 million, compared with net sales of $566.7 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011. By brand, net sales across all channels of the Ann Taylor brand totaled $255.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with net sales of $237.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. At the LOFT brand, net sales across all channels were $352.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with net sales of $329.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Total Company comparable sales for the quarter decreased 0.7% versus the fourth quarter of 2011. At Ann Taylor, total brand comparable sales increased 1.4%, reflecting an increase of 5.0% at Ann Taylor, which includes sales results from both Ann Taylor stores and anntaylor.com, and a decline of 6.8% in the Ann Taylor Factory channel.
At LOFT, total brand comparable sales decreased 2.1%, reflecting a decrease of 1.2% at LOFT, which includes sales results from both LOFT stores and LOFT.com, and a decrease of 7.1% in the LOFT Outlet channel
Gross margin, as a percentage of net sales, was 49.1%, an increase of 20 basis points compared with the 48.9% gross margin rate achieved in the fourth quarter of 2011. This gross margin performance primarily reflected lower promotional activity at Ann Taylor, partially offset by a higher level of promotional activity at LOFT, versus the fourth quarter of 2011.
Selling, general and administrative expenses for the fourth quarter of 2012 were $296.6 million versus $274.0 million reported in the fourth quarter of 2011. As a percentage of net sales, selling, general and administrative expenses were 48.8%, compared with 48.4% in the fourth quarter of 2011.
The increase in SG&A rate during the fourth quarter of 2012 primarily reflected fixed cost deleveraging related to our year-over-year store growth and other expenses supporting the expansion of the business that were partially offset by higher net sales, compared with the fourth quarter of 2011.
The Company reported operating income of $1.6 million for the quarter, compared with operating income of $3.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. Net income in the quarter was $2.4 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, compared with net income of $2.2 million, or $0.04 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2011.
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