J. Crew 3Q Profits Fall 29%, but Tops Estimates

New York City The troubled economy has brought even high-flying J. Crew Group Inc. down to earth. The retailer said Tuesday its third-quarter earnings fell 29% on lower sales at existing stores and slimmer margins, but the results still topped analysts' expectations.

During the third quarter, the apparel retailer earned $19 million compared with $26.8 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenue rose 9% to $363.1 million from $332.7 million. Same-store sales fell 3% in the period.

The retailer also slashed its earnings prediction for the full year, citing the tough economic environment.

“Despite these difficult economic times our priorities remain the same—providing innovative product, style and design, servicing our customers and making disciplined investments,” Millard Drexler, J. Crew's chairman and CEE, stated. “At the same time, we recognize that a sea-change has occurred with the consumer. In the near term we are not immune to the significant challenges we are all facing in retail in these unprecedented times.”

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