(Filed Under Financial and General Interest News). Although Charming Shoppes’ comparable store sales increased 1 percent during the second quarter ended July 31, 2010, the plus size retailer’s adjusted EBITDA plunged 65.2 percent, to $10.3 million, driven by a 5.6 percent, or $14.7 million, drop in gross profit. This profit decline reflected lower sales volumes and a decrease in the gross margin rate.
Despite these weak results, Jim Fogarty, president and chief executive officer of the company, assured investors that Charming Shoppes is improving its financial position. “With our strong balance sheet and liquidity, Charming Shoppes is in operating turnaround, and my team and I are focused on the success of that turnaround,” he said in a statement. “While we were very disappointed by our EBITDA performance in the quarter, we delivered our first positive comp results in 15 quarters, and stabilized both our top line and our customer base. Our customer base had declined significantly during 2009, and in order to stem the decline, we went on ‘offense’ with our assortments, we were more promotional, and we invested in additional marketing.”
He reported that the company’s year-round and seasonal core assortments performed well; however, seasonal non-core merchandise was a weak performer, causing the company to be “over-receipted in the depth of those choices.” Heavier discounting than the company expected to clear seasonal merchandise also impacted the EBITDA.
During the second quarter, total net sales dropped 1.8 percent, to $517.6 million, compared to $527.2 million during last year’s second quarter. Retail segment sales increased 3 percent, while e-commerce sales increased 36 percent. Net loss on a GAAP basis was $8.6 million, or 7 cents per diluted share, compared to net income of $5 million, or 4 cents per diluted share, during the prior year’s second quarter.
At the end of the second quarter, Charming Shoppes, Inc. operated 2,108 retail stores in 48 states under the Lane Bryant; Lane Bryant Outlet; Cacique; Fashion Bug; Fashion Bug Plus; and Catherines Plus Size names. During the quarter, the company closed 43 retail stores and opened two.
For further information, contact the company by calling (866) 247-7639.
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