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Urban Outfitters earnings jump 63% in Q1 2005

May '05
US based leading lifestyle consumer & retailer, Urban Outfitters Inc announced record first quarter earnings of $27.4 million for the three months ended April 30, 2005, a 63% increase over the comparable quarter last year. First quarter diluted earnings per share rose to $0.32 this year versus $0.20 in the prior year.

As previously stated in our sales release on May 5, 2005, net sales for the first quarter increased by 36% to a record $231.3 million. Fueling this increase over the prior year was:

- an 11% jump in total Company comparable store sales
- 29% increase in the number of stores in operation
- a 54% gain in direct-to-consumer sales
- a 69% surge in wholesale sales

Comparable store sales at Anthropologie, Free People and Urban Outfitters were up 9%, 45% and 13%, respectively; or a combined 11% versus a 32% combined increase during the comparable quarter last year. New and non-comparable store sales increases for the quarter totaled $30.8 million.

"All of our Brands produced excellent results in the first quarter," stated Richard A. Hayne, Chairman and President. "Strong sales, improved initial merchandise margins and tight expense control combined to drive operating margins above 19%. Given the current response to our product offerings, we remain optimistic about results for the summer season as well," added Mr. Hayne.

For the three months, gross profit margins increased by 116 basis points versus the prior year's comparable quarter. These gains were primarily due to higher initial merchandise margins that more than offset a modest increase in markdowns to clear seasonal merchandise. Store occupancy costs, as a percentage of net sales, were flat compared to the comparable quarter last year due to the change in accounting treatment of lease related expenses.

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