FINANCE

American Eagle Reports Q4, Annual Earnings

BY CSA STAFF

Pittsburgh American Eagle Outfitters reported Wednesday that net income for its fiscal fourth quarter ended Feb. 2, 2008, was $140.48 million, compared to $150.16 million a year ago.

Total sales for the 13 weeks ended Feb. 2, 2008, increased to $995.4 million compared to $973.4 million for the 14-week period ended Feb. 3, 2007. Excluding sales from the additional week in fiscal 2006, total sales increased 7% for the 13 weeks ended Feb. 2. Total sales for the 52 weeks ended Feb. 2, 2008 increased to $3.055 billion from $2.794 billion for the 53-week period ended Feb. 3, 2007. Excluding sales from the additional week in fiscal 2006, total sales increased 9% for the 52 weeks ended Feb. 2. Based on the extra week difference, comparable-store sales increased 1%.

In fiscal 2007, the company opened 30 AE stores and remodeled 53 locations. Together with 36 new aerie stand-alone stores and 14 MARTIN + OSA stores, total gross square footage increased more than 10% for the year. The company ended the year with a total of 987 stores, including 929 AE stores, 39 aerie stores and 19 MARTIN + OSA stores.

In fiscal 2008, the company plans to open approximately 40 AE stores, 70 aerie stores, 15 MARTIN + OSA stores and remodel 35 to 40 AE stores. This will equate into approximately 10% square footage growth.

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Blue Nile cfo steps down

BY CSA STAFF

SEATTLE Blue Nile has announced that Robin Easton has resigned from the role of cfo to pursue other interests, effective March 31. The company said it has begun a search to fill the cfo position.

Upon Easton’s resignation, Terri Maupin, the company’s vp of finance and controller, will assume the duties of the principal financial and accounting officer. Maupin has served as the company’s vp of finance since July 2004 and controller since September 2003. Prior to Blue Nile, Maupin served as the staff vp of finance and controller at Alaska Air Group.

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MGP Ingredients ceo resigns

BY CSA STAFF

ATCHISON, Kan. Ladd Seaberg has announced that he is stepping down as ceo of MGP Ingredients, effective immediately. Seaberg will continue to serve as chairman of the board of directors. He is being succeeded as ceo by MGPI President Tim Newkirk, who has also served as coo of the company since May 2006.

“I am very comfortable with the timing of this transition from my role as ceo, and have the utmost confidence in Tim Newkirk’s abilities to lead our company forward,” Seaberg said.

Seaberg became chairman of MGPI’s board in October 2006, succeeding Cloud Cray, who had held the post for 26 years. He has served as ceo of the company since 1988.

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