Francesca’s sees Q4 profit, comps slip; 85 stores on tap for 2014

Houston -- While 91 new stores boosted sales for the final fiscal quarter and year-end, Francesca’s Holdings Corp. saw net income for the 13-week period ended Feb. 1 slide to $10.6 million, from $14.9 million last year.

Same-store sales fell 6%, swinging from a 10% increase in the prior year quarter. Revenue surged to $92.1 million from $86.7 million, helped by 91 new boutique openings since the prior year quarter.  Five of the 91 opened during the fourth quarter.

According to CEO Neill Davis, weather played a huge role in the disappointing fourth quarter results.
"Sales results for the fourth quarter were below our revised guidance driven by the impact of 370 full and partial daily boutique closings during January due to extreme weather conditions,” he said.

The company predicts ongoing softness in the first quarter, based on weakened traffic, but Neill said he expects an improving trend in the second half of the year.

For the full year, profit dipped to $44.8 million from $47.1 million, comps fell 2%, and sales increased 15% to $340.3 million.

Francesca’s said it plans to open approximately 60 new stores during the first quarter as compared to 56 openings during the prior year quarter. For the full year, the company will open about 85 stores, down slightly from its 91 openings in the previous year.


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