• Net sales for the fiscal second quarter jump 73%
  • Net earnings for the quarter increased to $21.7m
  • Justice acquisition delivering growth

A hike in second quarter net sales on the back of a recent acquisition has helped Dress Barn swing to a net profit for the period.

The company said in a statement that net sales for the fiscal second quarter leapt 73% to US$594.1m. The increase is primarily due to the inclusion of Justice sales since the merger in November 2009. Comparable store sales for the quarter increased 10%.

By division, net sales for dressbarn increased 7% to $209.3m compared to the second quarter of 2009, primarily due to a comparable store sales increase of 6% for the quarter. Net sales for maurices increased 12% to $163.7m. The increase was due to a comparable store sales increase of 5% and a 7% increase in average square footage versus the prior year. Net sales for Justice were $221.1m since the merger. During this period, comparable store sales increased 19%.

Net earnings for the quarter increased to $21.7m compared to a net loss of $1.8m for the second quarter of 2009.

Net sales for the six months increased 39% to $998.2m. Comparable store sales for the fiscal six months increased 8%.

Net earnings for the six months increased to $43.4m compared to net earnings of $17.9m for the first six months of fiscal 2009.

David R. Jaffe, president and CEO said: "Our combination of fashion, attractive pricing, and strong customer service is a winning formula that is providing great value to our customers. We are very pleased with the performance of each of our three concepts. Our sales trends are strong, our inventory and margins are at good levels, and we are seeing improving unit-level productivity."

Jaffe continued: "We are very pleased to have maintained a very strong balance sheet after our recent merger with Justice. We believe that, over time, the adoption of best-practices across our organisation will yield material benefits for each concept we operate.

"Our strong cash position, low debt levels, and excellent cash generation ability position us well to drive value to shareholders through a range of potential methods and strategies. We are very excited to be emerging from the difficult market of the past few years as one of the industry's largest and most diversified specialty retailers with powerful opportunities for continued growth."