New York -- Ann Inc., parent of Ann Taylor and Loft, said Friday that its fourth-quarter profit rose to a better-than-expected $2.37 million from $2.18 million a year earlier.
Sales rose 7.2% to $607.7 million. Total company store- sales for the quarter decreased 0.7%. By brand, same-store sales increased 1.4% across the Ann Taylor brand and fell 2.1% across the Loft brand.
“For the fourth quarter, as previously reported, the results reflected the negative impact of Superstorm Sandy and disappointing performance at Loft due to an investment in bright colors that did not resonate with our client during the Holiday season,” said president and CEO Kay Krill. “At Ann Taylor, the brand continued to show meaningful progress during the quarter, delivering higher sales and profitability. We also achieved profitable growth in the outlet channel, as Ann Taylor Factory and Loft Outlet delivered stronger bottom-line results versus the fourth quarter of 2011, despite lower comparable sales.”
Total net sales for the full year of fiscal 2012 were $2.4 billion, compared with net sales of $2.2 billion in fiscal 2011. Total same-store sales for the full year increased 3.3%.
Separately, the retailer announced the launch of international shipping on its e-commerce sites, Anntaylor.com and Loft.com.
"The introduction of international shipping marks another key step forward as we continue to grow our e-commerce business and expand the global reach of our Ann Taylor and Loft brands," said Krill. “In addition, selling internationally through e-commerce will provide us with further insights to gauge future growth opportunities outside of the U.S."