• Q3 profit rises 1.2% $41.2m versus $40.7m 
  • Sales increase 7% to $657.5m from $612.5m 
  • Comparable store sales up 3.7%

Women's apparel group Ann Inc has today (22 November) recorded a 1.2% increase in third-quarter profit, thanks to higher sales and margins achieved despite a challenging and promotional retail environment.

President and CEO Kay Krill said: "Ann Inc delivered outstanding performance this quarter."

"Our bottom-line growth reflected higher sales, including mid-single digit comparable sales growth, a solid gross margin rate, continued disciplined management of expenses, as well as the benefit of share repurchase activity," Krill explained.

By brand, sales across all channels of the Ann Taylor brand rose 1.9% to $249.2m during the three months to 2 November, up from $244.6m in the prior year. Results were partially offset by "softness" at Ann Taylor Factory.

The Loft brand saw sales reach $408.4m, up 11% on last year's $368m, as customers responded well to its fashionable assortment.

"Looking ahead, both brands have entered the fourth quarter in an excellent position, and our strategic growth initiatives continue to add value on both the top and bottom line.

"We have now reported more than 90% of our anticipated annual earnings and are on track to deliver another consecutive year of record earnings per share," Krill added.