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J.Jill Q4, full year sales up

J.Jill ended the year with 243 stores.

J.Jill delivered better-than-expected results for its fourth quarter and full year.

The women’s apparel retailer reported net income of $1.0 million for the quarter ended Jan. 28, compared to $3.6 million in the year-ago period. Adjusted net earnings totaled $0.11 per share compared to $0.15 last year.

Total net rose 1.7% to $147.7 million compared to $145.2 million in the same period last year. Total company comparable sales, which includes comparable store and direct-to-consumer sales, increased 5.3%.  Direct-to-consumer net sales were down 2.5% and represented 49.9% of total net sales.

“We are pleased with our strong finish for the year as we delivered better than expected top and bottom line results for the fourth quarter and full year,” stated president and CEO Claire Spofford. Throughout fiscal 2022, our teams did an exceptional job in delivering strong operating results while executing against our strategic initiatives including the launch of our Welcome Everybody campaign.”

J.Jill’s Welcome Everybody” campaign is designed to raise awareness of the company’s inclusive size offerings, which extend from extra small to 4X.

For the full year, J. Jill’s total net sales were up 5.1% to $615.3 million. Total company comparable sales increased by 6.5%. Net Income was $42.2 million compared to a net loss of $28.1 million for the year ended January 29, 2022 which included $59.8 million non-cash charges.

Looking ahead, Spofford said that the company will maintain “the disciplined approach to inventory and expense management that we have demonstrated over the past eight quarters.”

“While we are cautious with respect to our outlook for this year given the ongoing macro-related headwinds, we remain focused on positioning J.Jill for long-term profitable growth,” she said.

The retailer closed 11 stores and opened one new store in fiscal 2022, ending the year with 243 stores. On the company's earnings call, CFO and COO Mark Webb said that J. Jill  may close more stores as leases come up. But he added that the company is also interested in new store growth —  "in time."

“We believe there is opportunity to grow this channel and are actively pursuing select new store openings, but we are steadfast in the metrics we need to do so,” he said. “It is our intent to strike fair deals and in time begin to grow this important channel.”

For the first quarter of fiscal 2023, J.Jill expects revenues to be down in the mid-single-digits compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2022, and for adjusted EBITDA to be in the range of $25.0 million and $30.0 million.

For fiscal 2023, the company expects annual adjusted EBITDA dollars to be approximately flat, total capital expenditures between $18.0 and $20.0 million and a flat store count to end fiscal 2023.

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