Aug 19, 2009
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Tween Brands second quarter loss narrower-than-expected

Aug 19, 2009

Aug 19 (Reuters) - Teen apparel retailer Tween Brands Inc (TWB.N) posted a much narrower-than-expected quarterly loss, helped by tight inventory control, cost reductions and increased promotional activity.

Photo: www.tweenbrands.com

The company also said it expects the merger with women's clothing retailer Dress Barn Inc (DBRN.O) to close in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2009.

In June, the two companies had announced that they would merge in a $157 million stock deal that would see Dress Barn repay Tween Brands' bank debt.

For the second quarter ended Aug 1, the New Albany, Ohio-based company, which caters to girls in the 7-to-14 age group, posted a net loss of $2.8 million, or 11 cents a share, compared with a loss of $6.7 million, or 27 cents a year ago.

Excluding a pretax impairment charge, the company posted a loss of 16 cents, beating analysts expectations for a loss of 38 cents, before items, according to Reuters Estimates.

Net sales at the company, which closed seven stores during the quarter, fell 8 percent to $205.1 million, dragged down primarily by a same-store sales decline of 12 percent.

Store operating, general and administrative expenses, inclusive of merger-related expenses of $1.9 million were at $64.6 million, a 40 basis point improvement, as a percentage of sales, over last year.

Shares of Tween Brands closed at $7.33 Tuesday 18 August on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Abhishek Takle in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)

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