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Aeropostale Q4 loss narrows; may close 50 to 75 stores

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Aeropostale Inc. decreased its loss in the fourth quarter, and reported its first adjusted operating profit in its last eight quarters. But the struggling teen apparel retailer said it is considering potentially closing approximately 50 to 75 Aeropostale stores and one P.S. Store in 2015.

Aeropostale's net loss narrowed to $13.5 million in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, down from $70.3 million a year earlier.

Net sales fell 11.3% to $593.8 million. Comparable sales declined 9%.

Aeropostale closed more than 180 stores over the three months that ended Jan. 31. It currently has about 850 stores in North America and another 239 licensed Aeropostale stores worldwide.

For the full year, Aeropostale reported a loss of $1.42 on revenues of $1.84 billion, compared with a loss of $1.13 per share and revenues of $2.09 billion in the prior year.

The company reiterates its expectation to invest approximately $16 million in fiscal 2015 primarily related to certain infrastructure investments and store remodels.

"Our first quarter outlook for 2015 reflects challenging trends as we continue to see softness in consumer demand as a result of weak traffic," said Julian R. Geiger, CEO. "Our organization has taken significant action over the past six months to reshape our business strategies, which should position us for improvement, particularly in the second half of 2015."

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