Restructuring Costs Hurt AnnTaylor 4Q

New York City AnnTaylor Stores Corp. said Friday it swung to a fourth-quarter loss, hurt by costs related to a restructuring program and falling traffic at its namesake stores

Losses for the quarter ended Feb. 2 totaled $6.7 million vs. a profit of $21.5 million last year. Revenue fell nearly 2% to $600.8 million from $610.5 million in the year-ago quarter, which contained an extra week.

Ann Taylor revenue fell 12% to $214 million, while Loft sales rose 3% to $284.8 million.

Meanwhile, same-store sales fell 3.2%, including a 78% decline at AnnTaylor amid falling traffic, and an 0.5% decline at Loft.

The company said Ann Taylor clothing assortments lacked the "newness" customers wanted. The women's apparel sector has been particularly hard hit as consumers cut back on discretionary spending as they face high food and gas prices and weak credit and housing markets.

In January, the company began a restructuring program to cut $50 million in costs annually by closing stores, cutting jobs and streamlining operations.

For the fiscal year, net income fell 32% to $97.2 million from $143 million last year. Revenue rose 2% to $2.4 billion from $2.34 billion a year ago.

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