US: Abercrombie & Fitch breaks even during 2009
US fashion retailer Abercrombie & Fitch has scraped to a full-year profit after sales fell and the company was hit by costs for the closure of its Ruehl chain.
Profit for the year ending last month came in at US$0.3m, down from $272.3m a year earlier. Sales were down 14.7% to $2.9bn, from $3.4bn.
For the fourth quarter, net income was down 30.5% to $47.5m, from a profit of $68.4m last time. Sales fell 5% to $936.0m, while comparable store sales dropped 13%.
The company completed the closure of its Ruehl branded stores during the quarter, incurring charges of $56.1m in the process.
Mike Jeffries, chief executive officer and chairman, said: "Having managed through a very difficult retail environment in 2009 with a long-term mindset of protecting our brands, we look forward to 2010 as we intend to grow the business internationally and improve the profitability of the domestic business."
In fiscal 2010, the company expects to open Abercrombie & Fitch flagship stores in Copenhagen, Denmark and Fukuoka, Japan and a Hollister Epic store on Fifth Avenue in New York.
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