Chico’s Doubles Profit in 1st Quarter

Fort Myers, FL–Chico’s FAS has more than doubled its net income for the first quarter of the year, thanks in part to recovery of its Chico’s and Soma Intimates brands’ performances.

Chico’s announced net income of $35.4 million for the first quarter, compared to $14.5 million for last year’s period, which included non-cash impairment charges totaling approximately $5.1 million. Net sales increased from $410.6 million in last year’s first quarter to $481.6 million this time, and same-store sales increased 14.9% for the quarter.

The Chico’s/Soma Intimates brands’ same-store sales increased 14.8% compared to a 6.0% decrease for the like period last year, the company said. Chico’s gross margin increased from $233.4 million in last year’s first quarter to $281.6m in the current quarter.

Selling, general and administrative expenses increased from $211.6 million in last year’s first quarter to $226.5 million in the current quarter.

Chico’s, which also operates the White House|Black Market and Soma Intimates chains, was hit by the recession as it undertook a restructuring designed to reverse a long sales decline. Analysts say the chains added more fashionable merchandise in their mix that attracts consumers age 40 and above. The revamp, along with fewer discount offers and initial price mark-ups, have recently helped the company’s top line.

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