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True Religion posts higher profit in first quarter

09
May '08
True Religion Apparel Inc announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2008.

• Net sales for the 2008 first quarter were $53.4 million, an increase of 47.4% from $36.2 million in the 2007 first quarter. Net sales in the Company's U.S. wholesale segment increased 29.5% to $32.5 million from $25.1 million in the prior year. The Company's international wholesale business increased 28.5% to $8.9 million from $6.9 million in the 2007 first quarter. Net sales for the consumer direct segment, which includes the Company's branded retail stores and e-commerce site, increased 190.3% to $11.8 million from $4.1 million in the prior year.

• Gross profit in the 2008 first quarter was $30.5 million, or 57.1% of net sales, compared to $20.4 million, or 56.3% of net sales, in the first quarter of 2007. The improvement in gross margin reflects the ongoing segment mix shift towards the Company's higher margin consumer direct business.

• Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses for the 2008 first quarter increased 65.8% to $19.1 million from $11.5 million in the 2007 first quarter. SG&A expenses for the first quarter of 2008 included $3.0 million of incremental operating costs for the expansion of the company's consumer direct business, $2.0 million of additional restricted stock compensation, $1.0 million in incremental marketing expense related to the Company's 2008 marketing campaign and $0.4 million in incremental professional fees related to the 2006 and 2007 financial report restatement. The Company's first quarter 2007 SG&A expenses included $1.2 million of severance and recruiting costs related to the replacements of two former executives.

• Operating income for the 2008 first quarter increased 27.9% to $11.4 million, or 21.2% of net sales, compared to $8.9 million, or 24.5% of net sales in the 2007 first quarter.

• True Religion's effective tax rate for the first quarter of 2008 was 41.0%.


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