Ascena Retail Group saw third-quarter net income decline on the back of charges relating to its acquisition of Charming Shoppes.

The US retailer, which operates the dressbarn, maurices and Justice brands, said yesterday that net income fell 4.6% to US$49.4m, which it said was entirely attributable to the $6.8m in costs relating to the pending acquisition of Charming Shoppes.

Net sales increased 8% over the quarter to $783.3m, which the company attributed to a 5% increase in comparable store sales, combined with strong sales in new stores and e-commerce. E-commerce sales increased 55% to $36m.

Dressbarn reported a 6% comparable store sales rise, Justice recorded an 8% increase, while Maurices saw comparable store sales decline 1% over the quarter.

"Our overall financial performance in the quarter was in-line with expectations and reflects the continued challenging marketplace for retailers and consumers," said president and CEO David Jaffe.
"Our ability to perform well despite these pressures validates the strength of our product, the loyalty of our customers and our strategy to build a compelling, diversified business. We are gratified and excited to powerfully move this strategy forward with the anticipated addition of Charming Shoppes to the Ascena portfolio of brands."