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Jo-Ann Stores reports 4Q earnings growth


HUDSON, Ohio Jo-Ann Stores reported net earnings for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 were $27.5 million, or $1.10 per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $25.8 million, or $1.05 per diluted share in the prior year fourth quarter.

Net earnings for the full fiscal year ended Feb. 2 were $15.4 million, or 62 cents per diluted share, compared with a loss of $1.9 million, or 8 cents per diluted share, in the prior year.

Net sales for the fourth quarter decreased 2.5% to $585.9 million compared to the same period last year. On a comparable 13-week basis, fourth quarter same-store sales increased 3.3% versus a same-store sales decrease of 6% in last years fourth quarter.

Net sales for the fiscal year ended Feb. 2 were $1.88 billion versus $1.85 billion in the prior year. On a comparable 52-week basis, same-store sales increased 3.5% versus a same-store sales decrease of 5.9% last year.

"The new strategic growth plan we outlined at the beginning of fiscal year 2008 allowed us to deliver balanced and consistent improvement for the year; including same-store sales growth, retail store gross margin expansion, SG&A expense leverage, and increased earnings per share. I am proud of our team for achieving these results in a challenging year for many retailers, given the weakening economy, said Darrell Webb, chairman, president, and ceo.

For fiscal 2009, the company said it expects same-store sales growth of 1% to 3% and earnings per diluted share in the range of 70 cents to 85 cents.

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