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Guess?'s Management Discusses F1Q2013 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Now, moving to the first quarter, we are pleased to deliver revenues that exceeded top end of our guidance range and margins that were stronger than we had anticipated on our last earnings call. Overall, our performance resulted in earnings of $0.30 per share.

In North America Retail, the progress we made last year in our women’s apparel business continued, as it is still the best performing category in the Guess? stores. Sales of women tops have been very strong, and both dresses and denim continue to perform well.

We’ve seen an excellent response to our 30th Anniversary Capsule and to the events that we held in our stores, as well as the global coverage we received from bloggers, fashion magazines and online media.

We also continue to gain traction in social media. In the last year, our Facebook likes have more than doubled and on Twitter, we doubled our followers in just about six months.

G by GUESS performed very well in the first quarter. Once again posting positive comps and we are continuing to secure attractive real estate for expansion of this concept. Our GUESS by MARCIANO business was challenging in the quarter and we are working on making improvements there.

Overall in retail, we continue to manage with lower markdowns, our best Q1 performance in six years and that led to higher product margins compared to a year ago, despite the overhang of increased cost related to cotton.

Our biggest challenge in retail remains traffic which continued to be down just as we had expected, this led to a comp decline in the quarter and put pressure on our overall retail segment profitability.

In Europe, our business remains stable and overall performed consistently with our expectations. We experienced declines in our more mature markets given economic challenges in the South, while we grew our business in newer growth markets like Germany and Russia, both of which these markets posted double-digit topline increases.

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