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ANN INC. Provides Update For Fiscal Fourth Quarter And Full Year 2012

NEW YORK, Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ANN INC. (NYSE: ANN) today announced that it expects to report record earnings per share for the full year of fiscal 2012, notwithstanding lower-than-anticipated results for the fourth quarter.

Update on Full Year 2012 Outlook

Based on preliminary results, the Company is providing an update to the full year fiscal 2012 outlook it provided on November 28, 2012, as follows:
  • Total net sales for fiscal 2012 are now expected to be $2.376 billion, reflecting a total Company comparable sales increase of 3%.
  • Gross margin rate performance is expected to be approximately 54.8%.
  • Total SG&A expenses are expected to be approximately $1.136 billion.
  • The Company's effective annual tax rate is expected to be approximately 39.5%.
  • During fiscal 2012, the Company repurchased 4.9 million shares at a total cost of approximately $135 million, resulting in an expected total weighted average diluted share count of approximately 49 million for the full year.
  • Capital expenditures are expected to approach $155 million.

Kay Krill, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are pleased that we will be reporting very strong year-over-year results for fiscal 2012.  For the full year, we expect to report record earnings per share and double-digit growth in net income.  We will also report strong sales and increased operating profit, as well as strong double-digit growth in e-commerce for the year, all of which reflect the benefit of our strategic growth initiatives.

"In terms of the fourth quarter, the drivers of the softer-than-expected results were twofold:  First, ANN INC. has a high concentration of sales in the Northeast region, which were negatively impacted by the lingering effects of Hurricane Sandy.  In addition, LOFT's fourth-quarter investment in bright colors did not resonate with our clients this holiday season.  As a result, promotions at LOFT ramped up in the back half of the quarter, which pressured margins but effectively cleared through Holiday inventories in order to enter the Spring season in a healthy position.

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