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Sales growth at Urban Outfitters not enough to meet expectations


PHILADELPHIA — Urban Outfitters saw profit for the fourth quarter fall to $39.3 million, from $75.2 million a year earlier. Sales rose 9% to $730.6 million, missing Wall Street’s expected $740 million in revenue.

The operator of Anthropologie, Free People and Urban Outfitters stores said heavy discounting over the holidays took a big toll on margins; in fact, margins have declined for at least five quarters as the retailer has made major markdowns to clear out slow-moving merchandise.

“I am pleased that we managed our inventories to appropriate levels at year-end even though our margins during the quarter suffered as a result,” CEO Richard Hayne said in a statement.

Same-store sales for the quarter dipped 1%.

Last year, Urban Outfitters opened 57 stores and said it is planning comparable expansion for 2013. In its conference call with investors on Monday, the company said it plans to open 55 to 60 new stores in fiscal 2013, with 13 of those slated to open in the first quarter.

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