FINANCE

Conn’s Q1 income nearly doubles; raises forecast

BY Marianne Wilson

The Woodlands, Texas — Conn’s Inc.’s net income nearly doubled in its first-quarter, with strong sales of furniture and mattresses and some higher prices. The company lifted its fiscal 2014 adjusted earnings forecast.

Conn’s earned a better-than-expected $22.2 million for the quarter ended April 30, up from $11.6 million a year ago.

Revenue jumped 25% to $251.1 million. Same-store sales rose 16.5%.

Over the past six quarters, our operations have delivered year-over-year expansion in both same store-sales and retail margins. With the addition of new stores and update of existing stores, furniture and mattress sales growth is accelerating. Furniture and mattress sales were up over 70% from last year and accounted for 26% of our total product sales in the current period," said Theodore M. Wright, the chairman and CEO.

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FINANCE

Ascena Retail Group Q3 profit down 37% amid charges

BY Marianne Wilson

Suffern, N.Y. — Ascena Retail Group Inc. reported its fiscal third-quarter net income dropped nearly 37% amid costs related to its acquisition of Charming Shoppes and a charge tied to debt extinguishment. The chain also lowered its full-year earnings forecast.

Net income slipped to $31.2 million for the quarter that ended April 27, from $49.4 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue rose nearly 46% to $1.14 billion, boosted by the company’s acquisitions of the Lane Bryant and Catherines chains. Same-store sales fell 4%.

David Jaffe, president and CEO of Ascena Retail Group stated: “Our soft third quarter top line performance reflects lower than expected traffic driven by continued economic challenges for our customers and unseasonably cold weather as well as merchandising misses at Lane Bryant and Dressbarn.”

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OPERATIONS

Lumber Liquidators names HR head

BY Staff Writer

Toano, Va. — Lumber Liquidators, the largest specialty retailer of hardwood flooring in North America, announced the appointment of Sandra C. Whitehouse as senior VP chief human resources officer, effective later this month.

Whitehouse most recently served as chief human resources officer for Earthbound Farm. Previously, she led the human resources department at Orchard Supply Hardware.

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