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Ann Inc. Q4 profit tops Street; launching international shipping

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Ann Inc., parent of Ann Taylor and Loft, said Friday that its fourth-quarter profit rose to a better-than-expected $2.37 million from $2.18 million a year earlier.

Sales rose 7.2% to $607.7 million. Total company store- sales for the quarter decreased 0.7%. By brand, same-store sales increased 1.4% across the Ann Taylor brand and fell 2.1% across the Loft brand.

“For the fourth quarter, as previously reported, the results reflected the negative impact of Superstorm Sandy and disappointing performance at Loft due to an investment in bright colors that did not resonate with our client during the Holiday season,” said president and CEO Kay Krill. “At Ann Taylor, the brand continued to show meaningful progress during the quarter, delivering higher sales and profitability. We also achieved profitable growth in the outlet channel, as Ann Taylor Factory and Loft Outlet delivered stronger bottom-line results versus the fourth quarter of 2011, despite lower comparable sales.”

Total net sales for the full year of fiscal 2012 were $2.4 billion, compared with net sales of $2.2 billion in fiscal 2011. Total same-store sales for the full year increased 3.3%.

Separately, the retailer announced the launch of international shipping on its e-commerce sites, Anntaylor.com and Loft.com.

"The introduction of international shipping marks another key step forward as we continue to grow our e-commerce business and expand the global reach of our Ann Taylor and Loft brands," said Krill. “In addition, selling internationally through e-commerce will provide us with further insights to gauge future growth opportunities outside of the U.S."

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Foot Locker Q4 profit up on higher sales

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Foot Locker Inc. on Friday said its fourth quarter profit rose to $104 million from $81 million a year earlier.

Sales jumped 14% to $1.71 billion, including the benefit of an extra week. Same-store sales rose 7.9%.

For fiscal year 2012, which included 53 weeks, the company reported net income of $397 million, compared to $278 million a year earlier.

Total sales increased 9.9% in 2012 to $6.182 million, compared with sales of $5.623 million last year. Same-store sales were up 9.4% in 2012.

"With the momentum we built from executing our strategic initiatives, the team at Foot Locker, Inc. was able to drive our sales and profits substantially higher than last year’s record results," said Ken C. Hicks, chairman and CEO of Foot Locker, Inc. "We believe that we can continue to build on this momentum and deliver a double digit percentage earnings per share gain for full-year 2013, compared to our 2012 non-GAAP results of $2.47 per share."

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Genesco earnings down in Q4

BY CSA STAFF

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Genesco, a specialty retailer of sports apparel and accessories reported fourth quarter earnings of$38.7 million, or $1.63 per diluted share, compared withearnings from continuing operations of $41.5 million, or $1.72 per dilutedshare, for the same period last year.

Net sales for the fourth quarter increased 10% to $797million from $723 million in the same period last year.Consolidated fourthquarter 2013 comparable sales, including same-store sales and comparablee-commerce and catalog sales, decreased 2% on a 14-week basis, with a 1%decrease in the Journeys Group, a 10% decrease in the Lids Sports Group, a 7%increase in the Schuh Group, and a 2% increase in the Johnston & Murphy Group.

The company also reported earnings from continuing operations for the full yearof $111 million, or $4.62 per diluted share,compared with earnings from continuing operations of $83 million, or $3.48 perdiluted share, for the 52-week period ended Jan. 28, 2012.

Robert Dennis, chairman, president and CEO of Genesco,said, "Fiscal 2013 was another solid year for Genesco, highlighted by annualsales and adjusted earnings per share increases of 14% and 24%, respectively. Webelieve that the strong earnings performance in a year characterized bychallenges in our markets and in the broader economy demonstrates the resiliencyof our business model."

"Fiscal 2014 has started off somewhat slowly, with February consolidatedcomparable sales down 9%. We believe that most of the negative factors we haveidentified in our recent performance, including a delay in initial federal taxrefunds and the timing of new product deliveries versus a year ago, aretemporary. Comparable sales improved in the course of February, but we remaincautious in our near-term outlook given continuing uncertainty in the economyand in some of our markets and the relatively strong prior year comparisons weface in the first half of this year."

The company expectsadjusted fiscal 2014 diluted earningsper share to be in the range of $5.57 to $5.67, which represents a 10% to 12%increase over fiscal 2013’s adjusted earnings per share of $5.06.

This guidance assumes comparable sales increases in the low single digit rangefor the full fiscal year.

Dennis concluded, "We enter the new year focused on continuing to navigatesuccessfully through the short-term headwinds while executing our long-termgrowth strategies."

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