• Q3 profit soared 39% to $59.2m
  • Sales slipped 1% to $749m
  • Sees a continued recovery in 2010

Teen retailer American Eagle Outfitters Inc today (24 November) booked a 39% jump in third quarter profit, and said it is confident of a continued recovery in 2010. 

During the three months to 31 October, the retailer earned $59.2m or $0.28 a share, compared with $42.6m or $0.21 per share in the same period a year earlier.

Excluding a tax benefit, the company said it earned $0.21 per share.

"Although earnings results remain below our standards, American Eagle Outfitters continued to gain ground during the third quarter," said Jim O'Donnell, chief executive officer.

He said the AE brand showed improvement across key merchandise categories, and that the Aerie and Martin+Osa brands achieved strong top line growth.

"I am confident that we are poised for a continued recovery in 2010 as we drive forward with creativity, vision and discipline."

Total sales in the quarter slipped 1% to $749m, down from $754m the year before. Same-store sales fell 4%. One bright spot was online sales, which increased 10% the company said.

Controlled markdown activity helped lift merchandise margin by 20 basis points, but higher rents and new store growth combined to push gross margin down by 90 basis points.