FINANCE

Books-A-Million 1Q Profit Drops, Cuts Jobs

BY CSA STAFF

Birmingham, Ala. Books-A-Million Inc. reported that its net income dropped by more than 57% in the first quarter of 2008.

Net income for the company’s first quarter dropped to $900,000 compared to $2.1 million in its first quarter last year.

The first-quarter results included a one-time charge of $406,000 for severance related to corporate staff reductions, said a news release. A company representative declined to comment on how many people were affected at its corporate headquarters.

Books-A-Million’s net sales dropped nearly 1% in the first quarter, from $116.3 million in the first quarter of last year to $115.5 million last quarter. Meanwhile, same-store sales fell by more than 3%.

“Our first-quarter results were affected by a very challenging economic environment,” said Sandra B. Cochran, president and CEO. “We are focused on executing the fundamentals of managing inventory, controlling costs and maintaining margins while adjusting our merchandising plan to meet the demands of a cost-conscious consumer.”

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Target donates $500,000 to China earthquake relief

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Target has donated a total of $500,000 (approximately RMB 3.5 million) to support the earthquake recovery efforts in Central China.

Donations of $250,000 were made to both the Red Cross Society of China to aid in basic relief efforts and to Save the Children to provide assistance to affected areas with a focus on providing emergency education and safe spaces for children.

We extend our heartfelt sympathies to all the communities affected by the earthquake and our appreciation to all those who are assisting with relief efforts, said Laysha Ward, vp of community relations for Target.

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BY CSA STAFF

SECAUCUS, N.J. The Children’s Place Retail Stores reported that first quarter net sales increased 12% to $400.2 million, compared to $356 million. The company said comparable-store sales for the quarter increased 5%, on top of last year’s 2% comparable-store sales increase.

Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations were 66 cents compared to diluted earnings per share from continuing operations of 64 cents last year.

Chuck Crovitz, interim ceo of The Children’s Place Retail Stores, commented, “Our first quarter results show progress toward our goal of returning the Company to its historical level of profitability. During the quarter, we exited the Disney Store business at cash costs that are expected to be at the low end of our previously disclosed range of $50 million to $100 million. In addition, we began the reduction of our cost structure, announced lower capital spending for 2008 and expect our inventory position to be below last year’s level at the end of the second quarter. Further, we continue to be encouraged by the customer response to our summer merchandise and believe that The Children’s Place, as a leading value player in the children’s apparel market, is well-positioned in this difficult economic environment.”

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