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Wet Seal income up in Q4

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Foothill Ranch, Calif. Wet Seal reported that its fourth-quarter net sales were $151.0 million, compared with $154.9 million in the same period last year.

Net income was $80.8 million, compared with $4.3 million in the prior-year quarter.

Meanwhile, consolidated same-store sales decreased 4.5%. Same-store sales for Wet Seal decreased 6.7% and for Arden B increased 8.8%.

Operating income was $9.6 million, compared with $4.6 million in the prior-year fourth quarter.

“The Arden B division posted its strongest same-store sales quarter of the year and generated a fourth successive profitable quarter, with operating income of $1.9 million,” said CEO Ed Thomas. “At Wet Seal, the fourth quarter operating results were the strongest of the year, and we believe merchandise mix improvements made by the end of the year positioned that division well to start fiscal 2010.”

For the year, net revenues were $560.9 million, compared with $593.0 million in fiscal 2008. Consolidated same-store sales decreased 7.1%, while same-store sales for Wet Seal decreased 8.5% and for Arden B increased 0.2%.

Operating income was $22.9 million, compared with $32.2 million, or 5.4% of revenues, in fiscal 2008.

The company also said its net income for the year was $93.4 million, compared with $30.2 million in fiscal 2008.

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