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Trans World Entertainment's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Our gross margin rate for the quarter increased 200-basis points to 35.8% of net sales from 33.8% last year. The increase in gross profit as a percentage of sales was due to higher margin rates across all of our product categories.

SG&A expenses were $50.5 million, a reduction of 16% on total sales, decline of 17%. SG&A as a percentage of sales to 26.2% compared to a 26.1% last year. The decrease in SG&A expenses was driven by the closing of under-performing stores, and continued focus on effective expense management. Net interest expense was $790,000 for the quarter versus $915,000 last year.

Now I will comment on our full-year results. Total sales for the year decreased 17% to $543 million from $652 million last year, as our average number of stores in operation also declined 17%. Our comp store sales for the full year were down 2% compared to last year, and our net income for the year improved by over $33 million to $2.2 million, or $0.07 per diluted share versus last year’s net loss of $31 million or $0.99 per share.

EBITDA improved $25.8 million for the year to $11.5 million as compared to last year’s EBITDA loss of $14.3 million. Our gross margin rate for the year increased 290 basis points to 36.5% of sales, from 33.6% last year. The increase in gross profit as a percentage of sales was due to higher margin rates across all of our products.

SG&A expenses were $186.6 million, a reduction of 20% on a total sales decline of 17%, resulting in a 140 basis points decrease as a percentage of sales, to 34.4% this year from 35.8% last year.

Net interest expense was $3.2 million versus $3.3 million last year. The company did not require any borrowing under its line of credit at any point during the entire year. We ended the year with cash of $89 million, compared to $75 million last year. And year-over-year, we have lowered our inventory by $43 million, and finished the year with $191 million in inventory, 18% below last year’s $234 million.

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