New York & Company, Inc. [NYSE:NWY], a specialty apparel chain with 541 retail stores, today announced results for the first quarter ended April 28, 2012. For the first quarter of fiscal year 2012, net sales were $227.7 million, as compared to $239.4 million for the first quarter of fiscal year 2011. Comparable store sales for the first quarter of fiscal year 2012 decreased 2.9%, as compared to an increase of 2.5% in the prior year first quarter.
Operating loss for the first quarter of fiscal year 2012 was $0.1 million, reflecting a significant improvement from the prior year’s first quarter operating loss of $3.6 million.
Net loss for the first quarter of fiscal year 2012 narrowed to $0.2 million, or breakeven on a per diluted share basis. This compares to the prior year net loss of $3.7 million, or $0.06 per diluted share.
Gregory Scott, New York & Company’s CEO, stated: “Our first quarter results marked a solid start to the year reflecting initial benefits from our 2012 strategic initiatives – our six keys to success. These include: Maximizing sales and profitability particularly during peak traffic times of the year; increasing our marketing efforts to grow traffic in stores and on-line; maintaining our dominance in wear-to-work, while redefining our casual assortment; improving our average unit cost; optimizing our real estate portfolio; and expanding our growing eCommerce and Outlet businesses. Progress made on each of these fronts contributed to an improved gross margin and operating performance versus the prior year. During the quarter we continued to see positive momentum in our wear-to-work assortments and were pleased with the trend in our casual assortments. Across channels, our business was led by strength in eCommerce and Outlets. While our inventory levels may constrain top-line growth in the second quarter, we remain confident in our strategies and our ability to continue our progress this year.”