Smaller loss for Abercrombie & FitchStaff writer ▼ | Monday May 27, 2013 5:12AM ET
The first quarter, the thirteen weeks ended May 4, 2013, saw a net loss per basic and diluted share of $0.09, compared to a net loss per basic and diluted share of $0.25 for the thirteen weeks ended April 28, 2012.
"Our results for the first quarter reflect a sixteen cent improvement in earnings per share versus last year, including better than expected gross margin rate improvement and tight expense management. The first quarter proved to be more difficult than expected on the top-line due to more significant inventory shortage issues than anticipated, added to by external pressures," said Mike Jeffries, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Abercrombie & Fitch.
Net sales for the first quarter decreased 9% to $838.8 million from $921.2 million for the thirteen weeks ended April 28, 2012. Total U.S. sales, including direct-to-consumer sales, decreased 17% to $534.9 million. Total international sales, including direct-to-consumer sales, increased 10% to $303.9 million. Total Company direct-to-consumer sales, including shipping and handling, decreased 10% to $132.7 million.
Due to the 53rd week in Fiscal 2012, first quarter comparable sales are compared to the thirteen week period ended May 5, 2012. The effect of the calendar shift was not material to total sales.
Total comparable sales for the quarter, including direct-to-consumer sales, decreased 15% with comparable store sales decreasing 17% and comparable direct-to-consumer sales decreasing 6%. Comparable sales for the quarter, including direct-to-consumer sales, decreased 14% for the U.S. and decreased 16% for international. Within the quarter, comparable sales were weakest in February and March.
Stores and distribution expense for the first quarter was $449.1 million, down from $455.7 million last year. As a percentage of sales, expense savings in store payroll, repairs and maintenance, and other stores and distribution expense were more than offset by the deleveraging effect of negative comparable sales. ■