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Trans World Entertainment's CEO Discusses Q3 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

SG&A expenses were $43 million, a reduction of 24% on a total sales decline of 15%, resulting in a 460-basis point decrease as a percentage of sales to 39.1% this year from 43.7% last year. The decrease in SG&A was driven by the closing of underperforming stores and the continued focus on effective expense management.

Net interest expense was $774,000 in the quarter versus $927,000 last year.

The company has not required any borrowings under its line of credit during the first nine months of this year, and therefore we ended the quarter without any borrowings outstanding under the line of credit. Last year we ended the quarter with $8.6 million in borrowings outstanding in the credit facility.

In addition, the company more than tripled its cash balance from the prior year. We ended the quarter with cash of $19 million, compared to $6.1 million last year.

Year-over-year, we have lowered our inventory by $47 million. Our quarter-end inventory position was $224 million, 17% below last year’s $271 million.

On a per-square-foot basis, this is $77 of foot compared to a $76 last year.

We ended the quarter with 17% fewer stores at 440 and 2.9 million square feet in operation, versus last year’s 533 stores and 3.6 million square feet.

Now I’ll turn it back to Bob.

Bob Higgins

Thank you, John. We are very encouraged by our third quarter performance. Our flat comp demonstrates our ability to offset declines in our largest categories, video music with strong comp increases and our emerging categories of electronic and trend. Our electronics and trend categories, which combined represented 18% of our business, had a 22% comp increase in the quarter as we continue to strengthen assortment in these categories.

We continued to improve our operating results during the third quarter. Year-to-date, we’ve reduced our net loss by $29 million or 67%. In addition, the year-to-date EBITDA loss improved $25 million or 78%. In fact, on a trailing 12-month basis, we generated a positive EBITDA of $8.7 million.

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