Urban Outfitters' 3Q Lifted by Sales, Inventory Control

Philadelphia Urban Outfitters Inc. said Thursday its third-quarter profit rose 31%, helped by strong performance at namesake stores and tight inventory controls.

Urban Outfitters' reported that its profit for the three months ended Oct. 31 rose to $59.3 million from $45.4 million last year. Results include a $2.9 million write-off of an auction-rate preferred stock investment.

As the company reported last week, sales rose 26% to $478 million from $379.3 million. Meanwhile, same-store sales across all three of the company's brands were up 17% at Urban Outfitters stores, 2% at higher-priced Anthropologie stores and 4% at Free People stores.

The company said its operating margin rose 47% and expects "rigorous management" of inventory to position Urban Outfitters appropriately for the holiday season.

Inventory grew 19% as of Oct. 31 compared with a year ago, mainly due to inventory for new retail stores. Inventory for stores open at least one year grew just 2%. The company has opened 41 new stores during the nine months ended Oct. 31.

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