Urban Outfitters posts 46% rise in Q4 earnings
Despite sales declines related to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Philadelphia-based lifestyle group Urban Outfitters, Inc. managed to achieve a 46.2% increase in its fourth-quarter earnings, which totaled $28.57 million, or $0.29 per diluted share, up from $19.54 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, in the same period in the previous year.
As previously reported, in the fourth quarter ended January 31, 2021, the company’s net sales fell 6.9% year over year, from $1.17 billion to $1.09 billion.
Comparable retail segment sales decreased 7%, reflecting reductions in store traffic caused by the coronavirus crisis and related occupancy restrictions. Declines in in-store sales were only partially offset by the retailer’s solid double-digit e-commerce growth.
Broken down by brand, comparable retail segment sales decreased 6% at the company’s flagship Urban Outfitters banner and 11% at the Anthropologie Group, but increased 6% at Free People. Quarterly wholesale revenues dropped 7%.
The retailer was able to achieve bottom-line growth thanks to its expense management in the quarter, when its selling, general and administrative expenses reduced 9.6% year over year. According to the company, this decrease was largely due to “disciplined store payroll management and overall expense control,” which made up for increases in spending on digital marketing.
In the full fiscal year ended January 31, 2021, the group’s net sales fell 13.4% to $3.45 billion, down from $3.98 billion in the previous year. Annual net income totaled $1.24 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, compared to $168.10 million, or $1.67 per diluted share, the year before.
Over the course of the year, the retailer opened a total of 20 new stores and permanently closed 10. Six franchisee-owned locations were also shuttered. The company currently operates more than 630 retail locations in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
Speaking about the group’s future in a release, CEO Richard A. Hayne struck an optimistic tone.
“As we begin our new fiscal year, we are encouraged by the positive sales results all three brands delivered in North America quarter-to-date,” he said. “We’re particularly excited by the recent uptick in demand for ‘going-out’ type apparel and believe this bodes well for our spring and summer seasons.”
The company did not provide detailed financial guidance for the current quarter or fiscal year.
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