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Jo-Ann Q4 gross margins expand on better strategy

08
May '07
Jo-Ann Stores Inc announced financial results for its fiscal 2007 fourth quarter and full year ended February 3, 2007. Net earnings for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007 were $25.8 million, or $1.05 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $18.0 million, or $0.78 loss per diluted share in the prior year fourth quarter.

Fiscal 2007 included 53 weeks of operations compared to 52 weeks in fiscal 2006, with the additional week falling in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007. Fiscal 2006 results for the fourth quarter included a charge of $27.1 million for goodwill impairment.

For the fourth quarter, net sales decreased 0.5% to $600.8 million from $604.1 million last year. On a comparable 13-week basis, fourth quarter same-store sales decreased 6.0% versus a same-store sales decrease of 3.0% last year. The decrease in sales was impacted by planned reductions of holiday inventory and less clearance merchandise in the stores.

Net loss for the year was $1.9 million, or $0.08 loss per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $23.0 million, or $1.01 loss per diluted share in fiscal 2006.

Net sales for the fiscal year ended February 3, 2007 decreased 1.7% to $1.851 billion from $1.883 billion last year. On a comparable 52-week basis, same-store sales decreased 5.9% versus a same-store sales decrease of 0.8% last year.

Review of Operating Results:
Gross margins for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007 increased 310 basis points to 45.0% from 41.9% due to a less promotional pricing strategy, better sell-through on seasonal goods and reduced sales of clearance inventory.


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