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Mothers Work May sales up 8.7%, comp store sales rise 5.5%

Jun '06
Maternity apparel retailer Mothers Work Inc has announced preliminary net sales for May 2006 and reaffirmed its previous guidance for sales and earnings for the third quarter.

Preliminary net sales for the month of May 2006 increased approx. 8.7 percent to $56.4 million from $51.9 million reported for the month of May 2005. The increase in net sales for May 2006 was primarily driven by increased comparable store sales, as well as increases in sales from the company's Oh Baby! by Motherhood licensed arrangement with Kohl's and internet sales.

Preliminary comparable store sales for May 2006 increased approx. 5.5 percent (based on 1,484 locations) versus a comparable store sales decrease of 8.1 percent (based on 987 locations) for May 2005. The 8.1 percent comparable store sales decrease for the month of May 2005 was adversely impacted by approx. 3 to 4 percentage points by having four Saturdays in May 2005 compared to five Saturdays in May 2004.

During May 2006, the company opened no stores and closed six stores. It ended the month with 818 stores and 1,545 total retail locations, compared to 860 stores and 1,596 total retail locations at the end of May 2005.

Rebecca Matthias, President and COO of Mothers Work, noted, "We are pleased to report another month of very strong sales performance, as we delivered a comparable store sales increase of approximately 5.5 percent for the month, which exceeded our expectations.”

"Our strong sales results for April and May put us on target to meet or exceed our previous third quarter sales guidance of $157.5 to $160.5 million, and our previous third quarter comparable store sales guidance of an increase of 2.5 percent to 4.5 percent. With our sales at or above plan, a favorable price promotional environment compared to last year, and our continued tight expense controls, we expect to meet or exceed our previous third quarter guidance for diluted earnings per share of between $1.20 and $1.34 per share (after stock option expense).

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