Jones Apparel Q3 profit up, sales down

New York City Jones Apparel Group reported Wednesday its third-quarter profit rose 9% over the year-ago period, but lowered sales disappointed Wall Street.

The company, whose brands include Jones New York, Nine West and Anne Klein, said for the period ended Oct. 3, earnings rose to $29 .1 million, from $26.8 million last year.

Revenue for the quarter declined 11%, to $855.7 million from $964.7 million last year.

Analysts expected sales of $867 million.

Wesley R. Card, Jones Apparel Group president and CEO, said, “We maneuvered through this very difficult period in our economy by initiating a rigorous effort across the company focused on controlling inventories and managing costs, while simultaneously invigorating our merchandising and product initiatives. These efforts allowed us to improve operating performance in all segments in the face of an anticipated sales decline.”

So far the company has closed 69 stores and remains on track to exit about 265 locations in 2009 and 2010. Jones Apparel said it expects closing stores will save $4 million in 2009, $16 million in 2010 and $22 million in 2011, about $1 million more in both 2010 and 2011 than the company previously estimated.

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