A.C. Moore reports smaller Q4 loss

Berlin, N.J. A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts posted a smaller fiscal fourth-quarter loss Wednesday, helped by lower expenses.

The company said sales fell 9% in the fourth quarter and 12% for the full year.

"Obviously, we are not pleased with our performance for last year," said CEO Rick Lepley. However, he said the company made "significant progress on many of our strategic initiatives during 2009 that we believe will lead to improved operations by the end of 2010."

A.C. Moore said it lost $537,000 for the period ended Jan. 2, compared with a loss of $13 million a year earlier.

A.C. Moore reduced its selling, general and administrative expenses by 10% to $59 million, from $65.6 million during the quarter. It also cut its store pre-opening and closing costs to $3.5 million from $5.5 million.

Net sales declined 9% to $149.7 million from $165 million, partly on fewer stores. Same-store sales fell 8.8% in the quarter. 

Cost of sales, which includes buying and distribution costs, dropped to $93.2 million from $104.7 million.

For the year, A.C. Moore's loss narrowed to $25.9 million from a loss of $26.6 million in the previous year. Annual sales fell 12% to $468.9 million from $534.7 million.

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