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Specialty apparel store Harold's posts Q1 results

Jul '07
Harold's Stores Inc, a chain of upscale ladies' and men's specialty apparel stores, announced results of its first fiscal quarter ended May 5, 2007.

For the first quarter, the Company reported a net loss of $489,000 or $0.08 per diluted and basic share, compared to a net loss of $931,000, or $0.21 per diluted and basic share in the previous year.

“Our first quarter operating performance was considerably improved over the prior year, as we shifted to operating income of $402,000 as compared to an operating loss of $479,000 in the prior year,” said Ron Staffieri, Chief Executive Officer. “Total sales increased 6.2% for the quarter demonstrating improved customer responses to the merchandise offerings.”

Net sales for the 13 weeks ended May 5, 2007 were $22.4 million, up from $21.1 million for the 13 weeks ended April 29, 2006. Comparable store sales decreased 0.5%, with full-price retail store sales increasing by 0.1%, and outlet store sales declining by 12.4%. Direct (internet and catalog) sales were $1.5 million, 34.3% more than last year.

Gross margins improved from 36.5% to 37.9%, and selling, general and administrative expenses were lower both in the aggregate and as a percentage of sales. However, interest expense nearly doubled for the quarter due to additional long-term financings during the course of the past year.

Mr. Staffieri added, “At the end of the quarter, our merchandise inventories were 7.3% lower than the levelof last year, due to a combination of reduced ownership of prior season inventory and ongoing efforts to purchase at levels more appropriate to sales.”

Founded in 1948 and headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Harold's Stores Inc, currently operates 43 upscale ladies' and men's specialty stores in 20 states. The Company's Houston locations are known as “Harold Powell.”

Harold's Stores Inc

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