New York & Company, Inc. [NYSE:NWY], a specialty apparel chain with 536 retail stores, today announced results for the third quarter ended October 27, 2012. For the third quarter of fiscal year 2012, net sales were $219.3 million, as compared to $216.7 million for the third quarter of fiscal year 2011. Comparable store sales for the third quarter of fiscal year 2012 increased 0.7% versus a comparable store sales decrease of 5.2% in the prior year third quarter.
Operating loss for the third quarter of fiscal year 2012 was $3.8 million, as compared to an operating loss of $6.0 million in the prior year third quarter.
Net loss for the third quarter of fiscal year 2012 was $3.8 million, or $0.06 per diluted share. This compares to the prior year net loss of $9.0 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, which included a $2.5 million charge to income tax expense related to an additional valuation allowance established resulting from temporary differences identified in an IRS income tax audit that relate to tax years 2002 and prior.
Gregory Scott, New York & Company’s CEO, stated: “Our third quarter results were consistent with our guidance. During the quarter, we improved our top-line, generated positive comparable store sales and expanded our gross margin, which fueled a greater than expected improvement in our operating performance versus the third quarter last year. Our results were driven by continued strength in our wear-to-work business – a core equity of our brand – along with successful events throughout the quarter that were supported by strategic investments in our marketing initiatives.
“Moving forward, we were pleased to start the holiday season with a strong response to our well-planned Black Friday and Cyber Monday events which resulted in sales and margin gains; however this was partially offset by the impact of Hurricane Sandy earlier in the month. While much of the holiday season still lies ahead, we believe we are well positioned to deliver on our goals. We will continue to apply the same disciplines that led to our improved year-to-date results and believe we have compelling merchandising and marketing strategies in place to capitalize on the important holiday season. This year our holiday assortment includes a stronger balance of gifting, fashion, and key items to satisfy our customers’ needs while addressing the broader audience that shops our stores during these peak traffic periods.”