Trans World narrows losses

Albany, N.Y. Trans World Entertainment Group narrowed its losses in its first quarter as the chain saw some improvement in sales of music and DVDs.

Trans World operates the f.y.e. (For Your Entertainment) chain of stores, along with Suncoast Motion Pictures and Saturday Matinee stores.

Trans World reported a net loss of $11.4 million for the quarter ended May 1, compared with a net loss of $13.7 million last year.

Total sales fell 18% to $156.5 million, as the company operated an average of 548 stores during the quarter, or 23% less than last year.

Trans World closed 18 stores during the quarter and acquired five others. Meanwhile, same-store sales dropped 3%.

Nevertheless, Trans World chairman and CEO Robert Higgins said he was encouraged by the results in the company’s two biggest sales categories: CDs and DVDs.

“We made progress in the first quarter but we still have a lot to accomplish,” Higgins said.

First-quarter gross profit was $51.5 million, compared with $65.8 million for the same period last year.

The reduction in gross profit as a percentage of sales was due to lower vendor allowances, the company said.

Trans World finished the quarter with $21.3 million in cash, compared with $8.2 million last year. The company had no outstanding borrowings on its credit line at the end of the quarter, compared with $29 million outstanding at the end of first quarter 2009.

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