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Foot Locker's European business scores double digit profit margin

Aug '05
New York-based specialty athletic retailer Foot Locker Inc reported sales for the 13-week period ended July 30, 2005 of $1,306 million, versus $1,268 million in the comparable period last year, an increase of 3.0 percent.

For this same 13-week period, comparable store sales increased 1.3 percent. For the 26-week period ended July 30, 2005, sales increased 9.3 percent to $2,682 million, from $2,454 million in the Company's corresponding period last year. Comparable-store sales for the Company's first six months of its 2005 fiscal year increased 2.0 percent.

Excluding the effect of foreign currency fluctuations, total sales for the 13-week and 26-week periods increased 2.2 percent and 8.2 percent, respectively.

Second quarter comparable store sales reflected a mid-single digit increase at the Company's combined US businesses, led by a double-digit increase at Champs Sports.

Comparable-store sales results at the Company's international Foot Locker operations were mixed with the Canadian and Asia/Pacific stores posting very solid mid-single digit increases, which were more than offset by a high-single digit decline at the Company's European stores.

"While their European business remains prolific, producing a double digit profit margin, their recent financial results in this region were below their expectations and very disappointing," stated Matthew D. Serra, Foot Locker Inc's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

"Second quarter profit at Foot Locker Europe declined from the comparable period last year, more than offsetting the combined profit increase generated by their other divisions. Therefore, they currently expect earnings per share for the second quarter to be in the range of $0.27 to $0.29. Updated earnings per share guidance for the balance of 2005 will be provided on August 19, 2005 during their second quarter 2005 earnings conference call."

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