Plymouth, MN—Christopher & Banks Corp. saw its shares rise after reporting last week that its fourth quarter loss narrowed as its comparable store sales grew.
For the quarter ended Feb. 2, the women’s specialty retailer reported a net loss of $4.1 million, or 11 cents a share, compared to a net loss of $53.2 million, or $1.50 a share, in fourth quarter a year ago, which included $21.2 million in restructuring charges.
Net revenue was up 10% to $116 million. Approximately $5.1 million was attributed to the extra week in the fiscal year this year, therefore revenue grew about 5% when looking at the identical period, year-over-year.
Comparable store sales increased 18.5% even though the company’s 124 stores were about 17% fewer than the year-ago quarter. The company’s total expenses dropped 25% to $120 million.
While Christopher & Banks has struggled and reported a series of quarterly losses, the company returned to profitability in the third quarter before reporting its fourth quarter loss—which still represented an improvement from last year. Additionally, the company launched a strategy of lower prices, improved inventory flow and more targeted, unique promotions.
Commenting on the results, LuAnn Via, chief executive, said, “We intend to continue to build upon this foundation to drive sustainable long-term sales and earnings growth. We are delighted with the continued momentum in our business in the fourth quarter due to the ongoing execution of our strategic initiatives. Our customers responded very favorably to our well-balanced merchandise offering, improved value proposition, and enhanced marketing programs.”
Last year, Christopher & Banks rejected a buyout offer from Aria Partners, which criticized the company’s performance and said it would continue to push for a sale.
For the 53-week fiscal year that ended Feb. 2, Christopher & Banks reported a net loss of $16.1 million, or 45 cents a share, marking an improvement over the net loss of $81.4 million, or $2.29 a share, that the company reported a year ago. Revenue, meanwhile, edged down 1.3% to $430.3 million.
Looking ahead to the first quarter comp store sales are expected to increase in the low 20% range.