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Guess' Quarterly Loss Narrows as Sales Rise

August 07, 2003|Abigail Goldman | Times Staff Writer

Los Angeles clothing maker Guess Inc. on Wednesday reported slightly improved results for the second quarter as Guess stores' sales of women's basics and men's woven shirts helped narrow losses.

Guess posted a net loss of $5.4 million, or 13 cents a share, for the period ended June 28, including a restructuring and severance charge of $500,000 after taxes, or 1 cent a share. That compares with a loss of $6.4 million, or 15 cents a share, a year ago.

Sales during the quarter rose 9.4% to $131 million, up from $119.8 million last year.

During a conference call after the markets closed, Guess President Carlos Alberini said strong sales at the company's 254 retail stores continued into July, with sales at stores open at least a year up 11.6% compared with the same period last year.

Analysts regard same-store sales, or sales from stores open at least a year, as a key measure of a retailer's health because the figure excludes new and closed stores, which can skew results.

"We were pleased with our customer response to our product lines during the period," Alberini said, adding that the company was maintaining a cautious outlook.

"We expect business to remain challenging for the rest of the 2003 fiscal year," he said.

The famed jeans maker continued to face trouble from its wholesale business, Alberini said, including Guess sales to department stores and other retail outlets, which fell 16.9% to $27.5 million, down from $33.1 million a year ago.

Guess shares fell 5 cents to $7.18 on the New York Stock Exchange.

The stock hit a 52-week high of $7.95 on July 31.

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