Mar 30, 2010
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Charming Shoppes fourth quarter loss narrows

Mar 30, 2010

March 30 (Reuters) - Charming Shoppes Inc (CHRS.O) reported a narrower quarterly loss, as the women's plus-size apparel retailer continued to rein in costs to temper a steep sales decline.

Charming Shops
Lane Bryant from Charming Shoppes Inc - Photo: www.lanebryant.com

The company said it expects further occupancy cost reductions, and plans to close 100 to 120 underperforming stores, which will cost Charming Shoppes about $7 million to $9 million during the current fiscal year.

For the fourth quarter ended Jan. 30, net loss was $28.0 million, or 24 cents a share, compared with a loss of $114.0 million, or 99 cents a share, a year ago.

Analysts on average had expected a loss of 13 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales fell 15 percent to $539 million, missing analysts' estimates of $558.6 million. Sales at established stores slipped 12 percent.

Charming Shoppes cut total operating expenses by 24 percent to $284.1 million, while gross margin improved 190 basis points to 43.7 percent of sales.

Shares of the Bensalem, Pennsylvania-based retailer closed at $6.70 Monday 29 March on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Viraj Nair in Bangalore; Editing by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri)

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