J.Crew swings to fourth-quarter gain, postpones Madewell IPO
New York-based fashion retailer J.Crew Group, Inc. reported net income of $1.5 million in the fourth quarter on Monday, up from a loss of $74.4 million in the prior year period, and announced that it has reached an agreement with its lenders to push back the deadline for the IPO of its Madewell brand.
The company’s total revenues for the fourth quarter ended February 1, 2020, were $747.2 million, up 2% from $733.8 million in the prior-year period, while comparable sales rose 3%.
Sales at the group’s namesake J.Crew brand continued to fall, decreasing 2% to $516.8 million, although comparable sales at the banner did rise 1%.
This decline was offset by a 13% rise at Madewell, a consistent bright spot in the company’s results, where sales totaled $178.1 million in the fourth quarter. Comparable sales at the brand increased 9%.
Over the course of the full fiscal year 2019, Madewell’s sales rose 14% to $602.4 million, helping to offset a 4% decrease at the J.Crew brand, which posted total annual sales of $1.7 billion. Full-year comps rose 14% at Madewell and fell 1% at J.Crew.
Full-company revenues totaled $2.54 billion, up 2% from $2.48 billion in the previous year, with comps also increasing 2%.
J.Crew Group posted a full-year net loss of $78.8 million, a significant improvement from the loss of $120.1 million reported by the company in 2018.
“Our fourth quarter and full year results reflect exciting progress at J.Crew, driven by strong gross margin performance and the accelerated benefits from our multi-year cost optimization program, as well as continued growth at Madewell,” said J.Crew president and COO Michael J. Nicholson in a release.
“As a result of this strong performance, we now have an opportunity to broaden our exploration of strategic alternatives in support of our objectives to maximize value, position the company for long-term growth and deleverage our balance sheet,” he added.
In line with these considerations, J.Crew Group revealed that it has entered into an amended agreement with its lenders, postponing the deadline set for the proposed IPO and spin-off of its Madewell brand.
The new agreement removes a requirement for the IPO to be launched on or before March 2 and pushes back the outside date for the completion of the transaction from March 18 to April 3, 2020.
The extended timeframe is intended to allow the company to fully assess all of its strategic alternatives before committing to the IPO, plans for which it first announced in September of last year.
J.Crew Group does not provide financial guidance but former Victoria’s Secret boss Jan Singer, who became the company’s CEO in January, commented, “I am enthusiastic about the opportunities that lie ahead for this business, as I bring my perspective for developing product, brand experiences, and teams towards evolving our brand strategy and driving long-term profitable growth with the consumer at the center.”
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