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Maurices fashion perk up Dress Barn's 13-week net sales

Oct '05
Specialty apparel retailer The Dress Barn Inc announced sales and earnings results for its fourth fiscal quarter and fiscal year ended July 30, 2005.

Net sales for the thirteen-week period ended July 30, 2005, increased 48 percent to $307.1 million compared to the prior year's level of $208.0 million. The increase was driven by the inclusion of results from maurices, which was acquired on January 2, 2005, and a comparable store sales increase of 6 percent for the quarter.

The Company achieved stronger results despite an additional week of sales in the year-ago quarter, which contributed $11.7 million to last year's fourth quarter sales results.

Net earnings for the thirteen-week period ended July 30, 2005 increased 143 percent to $33.6 million, or $1.08 per diluted share, compared to $13.8 million, or $0.45 per diluted share in the prior year's fourteen-week period. There were certain items in both the current and prior year's fourth quarter that skew the year-over-year comparison.

Earnings in the current year's fourth quarter were favorably impacted by an after tax gain of approximately $22.8 million, or $0.73 per diluted share, due to the reversal of a litigation reserve. Also during the fourth quarter, the Company recorded certain additional charges of approximately $3.0 million, or $0.10 per share, primarily related to the write-off of unamortized bank fees from the repayment of its $100 million term loan and consultant fees in connection with Sarbanes-Oxley compliance. Excluding these items, this year's fourth quarter earnings would have been approximately $13.8 million, or $0.45 per diluted share.

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