On a reported basis, operating income for the first quarter of Fiscal 2013 decreased to $72.9 million, or 6.4% of sales, compared to $76.5 million, or 10.0% of sales last year. However, on an adjusted basis, operating income for Fiscal 2013 increased to $99.2 million, or 8.7% of sales. The decrease in operating income as a percent of sales on an adjusted basis was due largely to the initial increase in SG&A associated with the Charming Acquisition.
Fiscal First Quarter Balance Sheet Highlights
The Company ended the first quarter of Fiscal 2013 with cash and investments of $136.9 million and total debt of $304.7 million, compared to $168.9 million of cash and investments and $326.6 million of debt at the end of Fiscal 2012.
CommentaryDavid Jaffe, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ascena Retail Group, Inc., commented, “We are pleased to have begun the fiscal year with a strong quarter. We exceeded our financial and operational plan and made good progress with respect to the integration of our most recent strategic acquisition. We remain confident that the Lane Bryant and Catherines brands will become important value drivers for our shareholders over the long-term.” Mr. Jaffe continued, “While we remain generally optimistic, the bulk of the Holiday retail season remains in front of us. Also during the upcoming weeks, we look forward to additional clarity regarding the current fiscal and macroeconomic uncertainty that could affect consumers in the coming year. At present, we remain comfortable with our previously issued guidance for the full year and look forward to updating our view of the business following the holiday season.” Mr. Jaffe concluded, “We are confident that we have positioned our business well and that our unique combination of fashion and value will continue to resonate with a wide range of consumers. Over the coming quarters, we are excited to make steady progress on a variety of initiatives to fully integrate our brands, streamline their common infrastructure, and develop operational and financial synergies.”