Claire’s Q4 Profit Rises as Sales Increase

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Chicago–Claire’s Stores, Inc. reported today that its fourth quarter net profit rose to $21.3 million from $19.5 million in fiscal 2010 as sales increased both at its new stores and existing stores.

‘Strong Global Performance’

The specialty retailer of fashion accessories and jewelry for young women, teens, tweens, and girls ages 3 to 27, said for the three months ended Jan. 29, net sales rose 2.7% to $421.9 million from the same quarter in 2010. Excluding currency fluctuations, net sales would have increased 4.5%.

Same store sales increased 3.2% in the quarter with same stores sales in North America growing 4.7% and 0.6% in Europe.

“We are coming off a very strong global performance in 2010 having posted a positive 6.5% same store sales increase for the year with a positive 7.8% increase in North America and a 4.3% increase in Europe,” said Gene Kahn, ceo. “We are encouraged by the fact that we have had five straight quarters of same store sales growth. While we benefited to some degree by the stabilization of the broader economy, we were still well positioned at the forefront of our peer group of specialty retailers.”

For its fiscal 2010, Claire’s net income was $4.3 million compared with a net loss of $10.4 million in 2009. Net sales for the year grew 6.3% to $1.42 billion, from $1.34 billion in the prior year.

This year, the company plans to expand its global reach both in owned and franchised stores and new distribution channels. An e-commerce launch is planned for this summer, too.

The company, which operates Claire’s and the Icing, has operated 2,981 stores in North America and Europe. The company also franchised or licensed 395 Claire’s stores in Japan, the Middle East, Turkey, Russia, Greece, South Africa, Guatemala, Malta and Ukraine.