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Q3 sales up at women's apparel retailer J. Jill Group

28
Oct '05
Women's specialty apparel retailer J Jill Group Inc reported financial results for the third quarter ended September 24, 2005. Net sales for the third quarter increased by 8.5 percent to $103.0 million from $94.9 million reported in the prior year. The company generated an operating loss for the quarter totaling $4.9 million compared to a $4.4 million operating loss in the prior year. The company posted a net loss for the quarter of $2.7 million or $0.13 per diluted share, both of which were essentially equal to the previous year.

Third quarter sales productivity improved in both segments as compared to the prior year. Retail segment net sales per weighted average square foot increased by 5.3 percent and direct segment net sales per 1,000 square inches circulated increased by 11.5 percent. Comparable store sales for stores open at least one full fiscal year increased by 4.7 percent for the third quarter of 2005 as compared to the third quarter of 2004.

For the nine months ended September 24, 2005, the company recorded net sales of $318.8 million compared to $315.4 million in the prior year. The company generated an operating loss for the nine-month period totaling $2.8 million compared to operating income of $10.9 million or 3.4 percent of net sales in the prior year. The company posted a net loss for the nine months of $1.5 million or $0.08 per diluted share versus net income of $6.1 million or $0.30 per diluted share in the previous year.

Gordon RCooke, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, 'Their overall business continues to be disappointing. Net sales in their retail segment are growing primarily as a result of opening more stores - their year-to-date comparable store sales are basically flat to last year. Net sales in the direct segment continue to decline driven by circulation decreases that are not generating improved sales productivity - their year-to-date sales productivity per 1,000 square inches circulated is virtually unchanged from last year despite circulation reductions in excess of 20 percent.


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