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Clothing retailer bebe stores Q3 net profit down

May '07
bebe stores inc announced financial results for the third quarter ended April 7, 2007.

Net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2007 were $154.4 million, up 16.3% from $132.8 million reported for the third quarter a year ago. As previously reported, same store sales for the quarter decreased 0.4% compared to an increase of 4.7% in the prior year. Same store sales for the quarter exclude the additional week from fiscal January 2007.

Gross margin as a percentage of net sales decreased to 45.3% in the third quarter of fiscal 2007, compared to 46.9% in the third quarter of fiscal 2006. The decrease in gross margin as a percentage of net sales from the prior year was primarily due to lower merchandise margins resulting from lower than anticipated sales, higher markdowns and unfavorable occupancy leverage partially offset by lower inventory reserves.

SG&A expenses for the third quarter of fiscal 2007 were $54.1 million, or 35.1% of net sales, compared to $44.7 million, or 33.7% of net sales for the same period of the prior year. The increase in SG&A expenses as a percent of sales is primarily due to de-leveraging of store expenses, including store compensation and depreciation expense partially offset by lower advertising expense.

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