Before we begin, we must point out that this conference call will involve certain forward-looking statements, including projections for our business in the current or future quarters or fiscal years. These statements are based upon a number of continuing assumptions. Future results may differ materially from our current expectations based upon risks and uncertainties such as expected economic trends or our ability to anticipate consumer preferences. Please refer to our annual report on Form 10-K for a complete list of these risk factors. Also, please note that historical growth trends may not be indicative of future growth.Now let me outline the speakers and topics for this conference call. Lew Frankfort will begin with an overall summary of our first fiscal quarter 2012 results and will also discuss our progress in global initiatives. Mike Tucci will review our key programs for the holiday season. Jane Nielsen will conclude with details on financial and operational highlights for the quarter. Following that, we will hold a question-and-answer session where we will be joined by Jerry Stritzke, our President and Chief Operating Officer. This Q&A will end shortly before 9:30 a.m. We will then conclude with some brief summary comments. I'd now like to introduce Lew Frankfort, Coach's Chairman and CEO. Lew Frankfort Good morning, and thank you, Andrea. And welcome, everyone. As noted in our press release, we posted another strong quarter, reflecting the global resonance of our brand proposition with both women and men, based on innovation, relevance and value, as well as the vitality of the category in all markets as our customers look to update their wardrobes through our fashion right, leather goods and lifestyle accessories. In North America, we are continuing to grow our share of an expanding market, while in developing geographies, we are leveraging the inherent opportunity, investing in distribution and marketing initiatives. Beyond the top line, we are also very pleased with our high levels of profitability and substantial cash generation in Q1. Looking forward, and given the strength of our product pipeline, breadth of our assortment and shoppers' strong interest in accessories, gifts and self-purchase, Coach is clearly well positioned for another excellent holiday season.
While I will get into further detail about current condition and the outlook of business shortly, I did want to take the time to review our quarter first. Some highlights were: first, net sales totaled $1.05 billion versus $912 million a year ago, an increase of 15%; second, earnings per share totaled $0.73, up 16% from prior year; third, direct-to-consumer sales, which now include our Singapore business rose 17% to $910 million from $777 million in the prior year on a comparable basis; fourth, North American same-store sales for the quarter rose 9.2% from prior year, while total store sales rose 15%; fifth, sales in Japan rose 1% on a constant currency basis and 10% in dollars; and finally, in China, we continue to generate very strong growth with the continuation of significant double-digit comps.We're also very pleased to announce the acquisition of our domestic retail business in Taiwan, which is expected to occur in early January. During the quarter, we opened 2 North American retail stores, including one in the new market for Coach, Winnipeg in Canada, and the men's mall store in Garden State Plaza in New Jersey. Two retail stores were also closed. In addition, we opened 9 factory stores, including 8 men's stand-alone factory stores. At the end of the period, there were 345 full-priced and 152 factory stores in operation in North America. Moving on to China. During the quarter, we opened 5 net new locations, 4 in the mainland, one in Macau, bringing the total to 71 locations. In Singapore, as planned, we took control of our retail businesses this quarter and opened one new store as well. We now have 6 company-operated locations in that country. And in Japan, 3 locations were added during the quarter, all of them dedicated men's shops, while one retail location was closed. At quarter end, of 178 total locations in Japan with 20 stand-alone full-priced stores, including 8 flagships, 119 shop-in-shops, 32 factory stores and 7 distributor-operated locations. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com