NEW YORK — New York & Company reported that net sales for the fourth quarter were $291.8 million, as compared with $271.8 million in the year-ago period.
Comparable-store sales increased 2.3% compared with a decrease of 6.3% in the prior year fourth quarter.
Net income increased to $10.5 million, or 17 cents per diluted share. This compares with a net loss in the prior year fourth quarter of $10.9 million, or 18 cents per diluted share.
Gregory Scott, New York & Company’s CEO, stated: “We capped fiscal year 2012 with solid fourth quarter results that included increased sales, positive comparable store sales, significant gross margin expansion and a dramatic improvement in our operating results. Our performance was driven by strong progress made against our strategic initiatives – our Six Keys to Success – which provides a strong foundation for us to continue to improve our operating results in 2013.”
In fiscal 2012, the company opened 18 new Outlet stores, remodeled 13 existing stores, and closed 31 stores, ending the year with 519 stores, including 44 Outlet stores, and 2.7 million selling square feet in operation.
Net sales for the year were $966.4 million compared with net sales of $956.5 million for fiscal year 2011.
Comparable-store sales increased 0.1% versus a decrease of 3.3% in fiscal year 2011.
Net income was $2.1 million, or 3 cents per diluted share. This compares with a net loss of $38.9 million, or $0.64 per diluted share, for fiscal year 2011.
Net sales for the first quarter of fiscal year 2013 are expected to decrease in the low single-digit range. This includes the impact of 27 fewer stores in operation since the first quarter of fiscal year 2012. Comparable store sales on a shifted basis are expected to be down in the low to mid single-digit range.
During the first quarter of fiscal year 2013, the company expects to open one new Outlet store, remodel four existing locations, and close six stores, ending the first quarter of fiscal year 2013 with 514 stores, including 45 Outlet stores. For fiscal year 2013, the company expects to open between 8 to 12 new Outlet stores, remodel 10 to 15 existing locations, and close between 30 and 36 stores, ending the year with between 491 and 501 stores, including 52 to 56 Outlet stores.
Scott concluded, “We believe we have the right strategies in place to deliver improved operating performance in fiscal 2013, while making strategic investments in key areas of our business. Our entire organization is dedicated to the successful execution of our 2013 Keys to Success, which are: maximize sales and profitability during peak traffic times of the year; increase brand awareness and drive traffic to our stores; maintain our dominance in wear-to-work while furthering our opportunity in the pant and denim category; reduce markdowns through business process improvements; invest in technology to seamlessly integrate all business channels -- ultimately delivering a compelling omni-channel customer experience; and continue to expand our growing e-commerce and Outlet businesses.”