For the First Nine Months:
- Net sales increased 22.4% to $1,461.4 million from $1,193.6 million in the first nine months of fiscal 2011;
- Comparable store sales (sales for stores open at least 14 months) increased 9.3% compared to an increase of 10.7% in the first nine months of fiscal 2011;
- Gross profit increased 80 basis points to 35.9% from 35.1% in the first nine months of fiscal 2011;
- SG&A expense as a percentage of net sales decreased 110 basis points to 22.9% compared to 24.0% in the first nine months of fiscal 2011;
- Pre-opening expense increased to $12.9 million, compared to $9.0 million in the first nine months of fiscal 2011. Real estate activity for the first nine months included 89 new stores, three relocations and 20 remodels compared to 54 new stores, two relocations and 17 remodeled stores in the first nine months of fiscal 2011;
- Operating income increased 43.3% to $176.2 million, or 12.1% of net sales, compared to $122.9 million, or 10.3% of net sales, in the first nine months of fiscal 2011;
- The tax rate was 38.6% compared to 39.6% for the first nine months of fiscal 2011;
- Net income increased 46.0% to $108.0 million compared to $74.0 million in the first nine months of fiscal 2011; and
- Income per diluted share increased 43.6% to $1.68 compared to $1.17 in the first nine months of fiscal 2011.
Balance Sheet and Cash Flow
Merchandise inventories at the end of the third quarter totaled $462.8 million, compared to $354.9 million at the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2011, representing an increase of $107.9 million. The increase in inventory was primarily due to the 95 net new stores opened since October 29, 2011 and the opening of the Company’s third distribution center in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania during the first quarter of fiscal 2012. Average inventory per store increased 7.3% compared to the prior year. The increase in average inventory per store reflects the Company’s normal holiday inventory build, incremental inventory related to the recently added prestige brand boutiques, as well as strategic inventory investments in core product categories to ensure strong in-stock levels throughout the holiday season and into next year.
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