US apparel chain J Crew Group Inc has reported a bigger fourth-quarter loss after a $50 million charge to refinance debt.

Net loss for the fourth quarter totalled $52 million compared to a loss of $20m last year.

Consolidated revenues for the thirteen weeks ended 29 January 2005 increased 26 per cent to $264m, while retail sales rose to $183m from $154m last year. Same-store sales rose 17 per cent.

Revenues of the direct business (internet and catalogue) increased by 47 per cent to $72m from $49m last year.

Net loss for 2004 totalled $100m compared to a loss of $50m last year.

For the full year, consolidated revenues increased 17 per cent to $804m from $690m last year. Retail sales increased to $580m from $487m, primarily as a result of a same-store sales increase of 16 per cent.

Revenues of the direct business increased by 14 per cent to $198m in fiscal 2004. 
 
J Crew Group Inc is a leading multi-channel retailer of women's and men's apparel, shoes and accessories. The Company operates 157 retail stores, the J Crew catalogue business, jcrew.com, and 41 factory outlet stores