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Ascena Retail Group, Inc. Reports Third Quarter Results

Ascena Retail Group, Inc. (NASDAQ – ASNA) today reported financial results for its fiscal third quarter and nine months ended April 28, 2012.

Fiscal Third Quarter Results

Net income for the third quarter of Fiscal 2012 was $49.4 million, representing a slight decrease to the year-ago quarter’s net income of $51.8 million. Earnings per share for the third quarter of Fiscal 2012 decreased slightly to $0.31 per diluted share, compared to $0.32 of earnings per diluted share for the third quarter of Fiscal 2011. The decrease in net income and earnings per share for the third quarter of Fiscal 2012 was entirely attributable to the incurrence of $6.8 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, of costs relating to the pending acquisition of Charming Shoppes, Inc.

Net sales for the third quarter of Fiscal 2012 increased 8% to $783.3 million, compared to $722.8 million for last year’s third quarter. This was primarily due to a 5% increase in comparable store sales, and strong growth in sales from new stores and e-commerce . Consolidated comparable store sales include stores open for at least one year and do not include e-commerce sales results. The Company was pleased to note that e-commerce sales increased 55% to $36 million versus last year’s comparable period. The Company’s comparable store sales and net sales by brand for the fiscal third quarter were as follows:
Third Quarter Sales (Unaudited)
        Net Sales (millions)

Comparable Store Sales

April 28, 2012

April 30, 2011
dressbarn 6% $ 271.6 $ 255.4
maurices (1%) 223.9 208.2
Justice 8%   287.8   259.2
Total Company 5% $ 783.3 $ 722.8

Selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) expenses for the third quarter of Fiscal 2012 were $229.0 million, or 29.2% of sales, compared to $210.5 million, or 29.1% of sales last year. The marginal increase in SG&A expenses as a percent of sale was related to an increase in stock-based compensation costs.

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