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New York & Company performs well in Q2

18
Aug '08
New York & Company Inc, a specialty apparel chain with 596 retail stores, announced results for the second quarter ended August 2, 2008. The results of operations discussed below are for the Company's continuing operations only, the New York & Company brand.

For the second quarter of fiscal year 2008, net sales were $295.7 million, as compared to $285.0 million for the second quarter of fiscal year 2007. Comparable store sales for the second quarter of fiscal year 2008 decreased 2.2%, compared to a 4.9% increase in the prior year second quarter.

Net income from continuing operations for the second quarter of fiscal year 2008 was $8.6 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, as compared to prior year second quarter net income from continuing operations of $5.0 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, representing a 75% increase in earnings per diluted share.

For the six month period ended August 2, 2008, net sales were $565.7 million, as compared to $559.2 million for the six months ended August 4, 2007. Comparable store sales decreased 4.3% for the six month period ended August 2, 2008, as compared to a 2.0% increase in the prior year period.

Net income from continuing operations for the six month period ended August 2, 2008 was $15.3 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, as compared to prior year six month net income from continuing operations of $10.2 million, or $0.17 per diluted share, representing a 47% increase in earnings per diluted share.

Richard P. Crystal, New York & Company's Chairman and CEO, stated: "We are pleased to continue our positive momentum and deliver better than expected second quarter results. Our performance this quarter demonstrates the success of our strategies to maximize profitability in a tough environment and our ability to deliver compelling assortments and value to our customers.

During the quarter, our sales met our expectations and we achieved a significant increase in gross profit margin driven by the strength of our offerings and our actions to tightly control inventory and eliminate non brand-building promotions. As we begin the second half of the year, we believe we are well positioned to accomplish our goals and will continue to emphasize the strategies that generated our strong first half performance."

Significant highlights with respect to the second quarter included the following:
• A favorable customer response to merchandise assortments, which, coupled with the elimination of non-brand building promotions, resulted in a 230 basis point increase in gross profit margin versus the same period a year ago;
• A 22.3% decline in inventory per average store as compared to the end of last year's second quarter. This reduction reflects the Company's planned optimization of inventory flow and establishes inventory support at the proper level;
• Controlling costs which resulted in selling, general and administrative expenses declining by 1.6% on an average store basis;


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