FINANCE

Gap beats expectations as Q1 profit climbs 40%

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Gap reported Thursday that its first-quarter net income climbed 40% as revenue increased at all of its brands, and beat analysts’ expectations. The company raised its profit forecast for the full year.

The company said that it earned $302 million for the three-month period that ended May 1, compared with $215 million a year earlier.

Gap’s quarterly revenue rose 6.4% to $3.33 billion. Led by low-price Old Navy, the company’s same-store sales rose 4% for the quarter. Same-store sales at Old Navy stores in North American rose 7%. They rose 5% for Banana Republic stores in North America, and 2% for Gap’s North American business.

“We got off to a great start by improving our top line and delivering significant earnings growth,” chairman and CEO Glenn Murphy said in a statement.

Fueled by its turnaround in the United States, the company is in a strong position to expand overseas and online, he said. Gap announced in February that it plans to open its first Gap stores in China and Italy and expand Banana Republic in Europe. It also aims to offer e-commerce for customers in Canada, the United Kingdom and nine other countries in Europe.

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Toys’R’Us raises $1.8M for Autism Speaks

BY CSA STAFF

WAYNE, N.J. Toys“R”Us, U.S. announced that its fourth annual nationwide in-store fundraising campaign to benefit Autism Speaks, North America’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, raised nearly $1.8 million.

“For the fourth consecutive year, our customers and employees demonstrated their desire to help solve the autism puzzle by generously supporting our campaign to benefit Autism Speaks,” said Jerry Storch, chairman and CEO of Toys“R”Us. “At Toys“R”Us, we are committed to improving the lives of children and families in need, and we’re proud that our efforts will help Autism Speaks fund much-needed research, as well as advocacy efforts.”

During the campaign, the company said it created several programs to help parents and caregivers of children with autism. In collaboration with Autism Speaks and the National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making play accessible for children with disabilities, the company identified toys that can help children with autism develop crucial skills while playing alongside siblings and friends.  The “Ten Toys That Speak To Autism,” a special subset of the annual Toys“R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids, provides toy suggestions specifically for families and friends of children with autism.  With guidance from leading safety organizations and Autism Speaks, Toys“R”Us also developed Safe Play Tips that are relevant for children with autism. The “Ten Toys That Speak To Autism” and Safe Play Tips are available year-round at Toysrus.com/AutismSpeaks. 

Since the partnership launched in 2007, Toys“R”Us, the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund and customer contributions have combined to provide Autism Speaks with more than $8.4 million. 

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BJ’s quarterly income up, raises FY guidance

BY CSA STAFF

NATICK, Mass. BJ’s Wholesale Club reported net income for the first quarter of 2010 of $26.1 million, or 49 cents per diluted share. For the first quarter of 2009, the company reported net income of $24.3 million, or 45 cents per diluted share.

Net sales for the first quarter of 2010 increased by 12.9% to $2.55 billion and comparable-club sales increased by 7.8%, including a contribution from sales of gasoline of 3.6%. Excluding the impact of gasoline, merchandise comparable-club sales increased by 4.2%. Net sales for the first quarter of 2009 increased by 0.2% to $2.26 billion and comparabl- club sales decreased by 1.5%, including the negative impact from sales of gasoline of 9%. Excluding the impact of gasoline, merchandise comparable-club sales increased by 7.5%.

The company also announced revised earnings guidance. For the year ending Jan. 29, 2011, the company now expects to report earnings per diluted share in the range of $2.58 to $2.68 and net income in the range of $136.9 million to $141.9 million. Previous guidance was for earnings per diluted share in the range of $2.54 to $2.64 and net income in the range of $133.1 million to $138.1 million.

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