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Ann Taylor tops estimates, raises view

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Ann Inc., the operator of Ann Taylor and Loft stores, posted a 21% increase in its fiscal-first-quarter earnings and raised its full-year sales estimate.

For the quarter ended April 30, Ann reported a profit of $27.3 million, up from $22.62 million in the prior-year quarter.

Sales rose almost 10% to $523.6 million, but margins slipped to 57.3%, against 59% last year. Same-store sales rose 7.8%.

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Foot Locker Q1 profit soars 76%

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Foot Locker said on Thursday that its first-quarter profit jumped 76% as sales rose sharply. The retailer, which has benefited from efforts to cut costs and close dozens of poorly performing locations, said it earned $94 million for the quarter that ended April 30.

Sales increased 13% to $1.45 billion, from $1.28 billion a year earlier. Same-store sales rose 12.8%. The results easily beat the average estimates of analysts.

During the quarter Foot Locker opened 18 new stores and closed 24 locations. As of April 30 it operated 3,420 stores in 22 countries.

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Bon Ton’s Q1 loss widens

BY CSA STAFF

York, Pa. — Bon-Ton Stores said Thursday that its first-quarter loss grew as it booked hefty debt-related charges and sales declined almost 2%. Management blamed unseasonably cold and wet weather for weak sales of seasonal apparel, which forced the retailer to take markdowns and other adjustments.

The company reported a loss of $36 million for the three months ended April 30, compared with a loss of $23.5 million in the same period last year.

The results included a charge of 53 cents a share related to an early loan payoff and refinancing of a revolving credit line.

Net sales for the quarter fell to $649.9 million, from $661.4 million a year earlier. Same-sales slipped 1.2%.

Despite the results, Bon-Ton president and CEO Bud Bergren said the company is pleased with its recent sales performance, now that the weather has become more seasonable.

"Looking ahead, we are comfortable with our current inventory levels and believe the merchandise initiatives we have in place will generate improved performance as we enter the summer season and our apparel assortments change going into fall," Bergren said. "We believe we are well positioned to achieve profitable long-term sales growth."

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