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Mothers Work Posts Loss in 4Q


Philadelphia, Maternity apparel retailer Mothers Work posted a loss in the fourth quarter from year-ago earnings. Quarterly losses were $3.6 million, or 70? a share, down from earnings of $1.6 million, or 29? per share, a year ago. Quarterly sales fell 1.1% to $121 million from $122.4 million last year. Same-store sales were down 8.3%.

For the full year, Mothers Work profits fell by more than half to $5.9 million, or $1.07 per share, from $14 million, or $2.47 per share, in fiscal 2003. Sales increased 5.2% to $518.1 million from $492.4 million a year ago. Same-store sales decreased 4.9%.

"We believe that this increased competition caused an oversupply of maternity apparel in the market and that increasingly deep markdowns taken by our competitors to stimulate sales and clear seasonal inventories significantly and adversely affected our fourth-quarter and full-year sales and earnings," said president and COO Rebecca Matthias.

In 2005, the company plans to open 30 to 40 stores, including 15 to 20 multibrand units.

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