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After hot holiday, Francesca's names new CFO


Francesca’s says its fourth quarter financial results show that the retailer's growth initiatives are bearing fruit, as the company posted a big jump in same store sales over the holidays.

For the fourth quarter ended Jan. 30, same store sales at Francesca's increased 11%. Net sales increased 25% to $134.6 million from $107.6 million in the prior year quarter.Net income totaled $14.7 million, compared to $6 million in the comparable prior year period.

“Our fourth quarter results exceeded our expectations across key metrics, illustrating that our near term initiatives are working well," said Michael W. Barnes, chairman, president, and CEO. "We are particularly pleased with the sequential improvement in our apparel sales, which grew 35% during the fourth quarter, as well as with the performance in our non-apparel sales which increased 19%. As we look ahead to fiscal 2016, we remain confident that we are well-positioned to deliver healthy sales and earnings growth for the year."

Barnes added that the Francesca’s brand has enormous untapped potential and the retailer remains focused on maximizing this opportunity by enhancing brand awareness and driving the top-line through the successful execution of its Vision 2020 plan.

The retailer said it opened three boutiques and closed six underperforming boutiques during the quarter bringing its total boutique count to 616 as of Jan. 30.

Francesca's also announced that it has named a new CFO; Kelly M. Dilts, who will assume her position with the company in April.Dilts currently serves as the SVP of finance and investor relations at Tailored Brands, Inc., (formerly Men’s Wearhouse, Inc.).

“As a key member of francesca's executive management team, Kelly will be bringing over 20 years of specialty retail industry specific finance and accounting experience," Barnes said. "Additionally, her background in corporate infrastructure development will be significant in supporting our growth and Vision 2020 Long Term Strategic Plan. I am very excited about welcoming Kelly to Francesca’s and look forward to partnering with her to continue driving consistent, long-term, profitable growth for our company.”

For the full year, net sales at Francesca's increased 16% to $439.4 million in fiscal 2015 compared to $377.5 million in fiscal year 2014. This year-over-year increase in sales is driven by a 3% increase in comparable sales as well as the new boutiques opened since the prior year end, the company said.Net income for fiscal 2015 totaled $38.2 million, compared to $32.1 million in the prior year.

During fiscal 2015, the company opened 83 new boutiques and closed six underperforming boutiques.

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