• Q4 adjusted net income up 19.5% to US$56.3m
  • Sales surge 27% to $1.198bn
  • Total comparable sales up 4%

Fashion retail business Ascena posted a near-20% improvement in fourth quarter adjusted net profit, thanks to a strong sales performance from its Lane Bryant and Catherines brands.

The revenue surge was driven by the first full fourth quarter of figures from the two brands, which were acquired in June 2012, as well as an 81% increase in e-commerce sales, which were up 30% on a comparable basis.

Gross margin was up by 130 basis points after adjustments, reflecting reduced markdown requirements, with the most significant improvements coming from Dressbarn and Catherines.

Store comps for Justice were up 1% in the three months to 27 July, while Lane Bryant rose 6% and Catherines 12%, but Maurices was flat and Dressbarn fell 2%.

“We were pleased to see sales trends improve across all brands in Q4,” said company president and CEO David Jaffe.

“We remain on track to achieve our long-range synergy targets and are positioning the business for long-term growth by continuing to build infrastructure and add strong new talent.”