Chico's FAS sales up on strong comps, lifts full-year guidance
Chico's FAS announced on Tuesday revenues for the first quarter lifted by close to 40% on the back of stellar comparable sales, driven by strong demand in its apparel business and sales upticks across all brands.
For the first quarter, net sales were $540.9 million compared to $388 million in last year's first quarter, a 39.4% improvement held up by a comparable sales increase of 40.6%. Comparable sales surged on an increase in transaction count and higher average dollar sale, partially offset by 29 permanent store closures since last year's first quarter, the Fort Myers, Florida-based company said.
"Fiscal 2022 is off to a great start as reflected by a strong first quarter sales beat driven by continued digital and store growth, meaningful gross margin rate expansion and substantially better than anticipated operating income," said Molly Langenstein, Chico's FAS chief executive officer.
"We continue to leverage our proven business model and execute against our strategic pillars and we are seeing the benefits in our results. Customers continued to respond enthusiastically to product innovation and our myriad of product solutions across Chico's, White House Black Market and Soma."
The company said that apparel was the standout category for the first quarter, as evidenced by 65% year-over-year comparable sales growth at White House Black Market and 52% year-over-year comparable sales growth at Chico's. Soma posted its highest first quarter sales in the brand's history with a nearly 38% comparable sales increase over the first quarter of 2019.
"Across all three brands, we achieved higher average unit retail, better productivity and more full-priced sales than last year's first quarter," added Langenstein.
The company reported net income of $34.9 million, or $0.28 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $8.9 million, or $(0.08) per diluted share, for last year's first quarter.
Looking ahead, Chico's lifted its full-year guidance, adding it now expects consolidated net sales of $2.13 billion to $2.16 billion and earnings per diluted share of $0.64 to $0.74.
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