Guess 3Q Profit Up 9%

Los Angeles Guess?, Inc. said Thursday that its profit rose 9% in the third quarter on an increase in sales worldwide. The retailer said it earned $64 million for the three-month period that ended Nov. 1. Its earnings beat the expectations of analysts.

Total net revenue for the company increased 12.5% to $527.9 million for the quarter, from $469.1 million last year. Revenue at the chain’s North American stores grew nearly 12%, but comparable-store sales slipped 0.8% vs. the same period last year.

Business in Europe grew nearly 17%, while revenue in the company's wholesale segment, which includes its Asian operations, rose 2.4%.

CEO Paul Marciano said in a statement that the North American business was strong at the beginning of the quarter, "though business softened toward the end of the period."

He said the company expects the current market, which is seeing consumers worldwide cut back on spending amid an economic slump, is expected to continue. But he said Guess would manage its expenses, control inventory and spend its capital carefully during the economic woes.

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