The News Bee

Ann Inc. reports first quarter earnings

Ann Inc. reports first quarter earnings

Ann Inc., the women’s apparel retailer, said Friday first quarter sales rose moderately as a sales gain at Loft stores helped compensate for Ann Taylor’s sluggish performance. Company-wide sales were up 1.2% year-over-year to $597.7 million. Net income totaled $13.6 million, up from $5.2 million a year ago when a restructuring charge hampered the bottom line.  Excluding the restructuring charge and other “one-time” items, earnings per diluted share totaled 37 cents, surpassing analysts’ estimate of 33 cents.GTY 473890032 A CGO FIN USA NY

Shares fell 3 cents to $47 Friday morning. Ann Taylor sales fell to $211.3 million from $219.9 million a year ago as women increasingly opt for more casual styles at work. Sales of the Loft brand, considered more affordable than Ann Taylor, rose to $386.4 million from $370.6 million a year ago.

Its gross profit margin dipped to 52.3% from 53.4% due to “continued traffic challenges and the highly competitive retail environment,” as well as “soft product performance at Ann Taylor Factory and in select categories at Loft.” Ann Inc. Q1 sales rise as Loft makes up for Ann Taylor