Ascena Retail Group's, Justice Store

Ascena Raises Full Year Earning Forecast

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Ascena Retail Group's, Justice Store

Ascena Retail Group's purchase of pre-teen retailers Justice last year helped boost its bottom line, anlaysts say.

Suffern, NY–Stronger than expected sales and margins during the holiday season have prompted Ascena Retail Group Inc. (formerly known as the The Dress Barn) to raise its full year earnings guidance.

The company, which operates the Dressbarn, Maurices and Justice stores, now expects earnings per share in a range of $2.20 to $2.25 for the fiscal year ending July 30–an increase  from its previous guidance of $2.05 to $2.15.

“We were very pleased with our sales and margin performance at each of our brands over the important holiday season,” David R Jaffe, president and ceo, said this week. “With overall stronger than expected comp sales, we sustained our full-priced sell through rates and outperformed our expectations through excellent profitability. This was particularly true for Maurices, which led our performance during the holiday season.”

The company also noted that comparable store sales for the holiday season (from Thanksgiving Day to Jan. 2) increased 7% on a consolidated basis. By brand, Dressbarn increased 4%, Maurices increased 16% and Justice increased 4%.

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