Ascena Retail Group, Inc. (NASDAQ – ASNA) (the “Company”) today reported financial results for its fiscal second quarter ended January 25, 2014.
For the second quarter of Fiscal 2014, earnings from continuing operations were $0.19 per diluted share. This compares to earnings from continuing operations of $0.23 per diluted share in the same period of Fiscal 2013. Adjusted earnings from continuing operations in the second quarter of Fiscal 2014 were $0.23 per diluted share, compared to $0.26 per diluted share in the prior year’s second quarter. The decrease in diluted earnings per share was primarily due to profit declines at Justice and increased operating expenses from growth-related investments in new stores, merchandising/design resources and e-commerce capability. Reference should be made to Note 2 in the accompanying unaudited consolidated financial information for a discussion of the use of “Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”
David Jaffe, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ascena Retail Group, Inc., commented, “Second quarter net income was slightly above our revised expectations, despite softer than expected sales in January driven primarily by challenging weather that continued to negatively impact sales into early March. However, in warmer regions sales have been in line with expectations. We are implementing promotional strategies and receipt flow adjustments to bring inventory balances back to targeted levels.”
Jaffe further commented, “We made very good progress on our longer range strategic priorities during the quarter, including our synergy initiatives, which will position the business for long term growth. We have completed construction of our new national retail distribution center and are on track to go live this spring at our new e-commerce fulfillment center.”About Ascena Retail Group, Inc. Ascena Retail Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASNA) is a leading specialty retailer offering clothing, shoes, and accessories for missy and plus-size women under the Lane Bryant, Cacique, maurices, dressbarn and Catherines brands; and for tween girls and boys, under the Justice and Brothers brands. Ascena Retail Group, Inc. operates through its subsidiaries approximately 3,900 stores throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. For more information about Ascena Retail Group, Inc. and its brands, visit www.ascenaretail.com, www.lanebryant.com, www.maurices.com, www.dressbarn.com, www.catherines.com, www.cacique.com , www.shopjustice.com, and www.shopbrothers.com. Fiscal Second Quarter Results Net sales for the second quarter of Fiscal 2014 increased 2% to $1.267 billion, compared to $1.238 billion in the second quarter of Fiscal 2013. This growth was driven by new stores, with consolidated total comparable sales flat vs. the second quarter last year. Consolidated comparable store sales were down 3% for the period. Consolidated e-commerce sales increased by 28% to $149 million.