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Ascena Retail Group profit tops estimate; online sales surge


Mahwah, New Jersey - Ascena Retail Group’s first quarter profit topped estimates as strong online growth helped make up for falling same-store sales. The company, which operates the Lane Bryant, Cacique, Maurices, Dressbarn, Catherines, Justice and Brothers brands, reported net income of $53.5 million, compared to $52.6 million in the year-ago period.

Net sales of $1.2 billion for the first quarter were flat compared to the year-ago period. Same-store sales fell 4% while online sales surged 16%.

“We are pleased that we delivered the first quarter in line with our expectations. Conditions remain challenging as we transition into Holiday, and we will react appropriately to drive sales to ensure we end the season at targeted inventory levels,” said Ascena president and CEO David Jaffe. “We continue to make progress on the key strategic projects that are forming our new operating platform. We remain excited about the power of this model, and we are now on the back side of the capital investment cycle that was required to achieve our vision for a centralized, efficient, and scalable shared infrastructure base."

Jaffe said the company’s strong portfolio of brands which communicate value to customers would aid it during the holiday’s even through the company is watchful about the state of the market and continues to plan conservatively.

“We are confident that the niche positioning of our brands, reinforced by a best-in-class, shared service infrastructure, will allow us to drive profitability and deliver value to our shareholders,” Jaffe said.

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