• Q4 net profit up 47% to US$87m
  • Net sales down 4% to $916m
  • CEO Jim O’Donnell to retire

American Eagle Outfitters posted a healthy increase in fourth quarter profits despite falling sales and a 7% decrease in comparable store sales.

“For the quarter and year, the company achieved higher operating income, despite lower sales, as we managed the business effectively through a number of challenges,” said CEO Jim O’Donnell.

“Although we face external headwinds, including rising product costs, we expect to make further progress in positioning American Eagle Outfitters for long-term profitable growth.”

Meanwhile, O’Donnell has announced his intention to retire, but will stay on as CEO while the company board starts a succession process.

O’Donnell said it had been a “privilege” to be part of the company, expressing his pride at the achievements of the business.

Jay Schottenstein, American Eagle chairman, added: “Jim has led the growth and development of our company for much of the last ten years and will leave behind an organisation that is well-positioned for the future.”