Mar 18, 2009
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Charming Shoppes posts narrower-than-expected Q4 loss

Mar 18, 2009

March 18 (Reuters) - Women's plus-size apparel retailer Charming Shoppes Inc (CHRS.O) posted a narrower-than-expected fourth-quarter loss, but said it will eliminate some of its non-core assets, including its Figure Magazine and website shoetrader.com, as part of its cost-cutting initiatives. The retailer, which cut 225 jobs in January, also said it will shut about 100 stores in 2010 out of its 2,301 retail stores, and expects to save $125 million from these efforts.

Lane Bryant Spring 2009

"Where our rent reduction efforts are unsuccessful, we will consider closing the stores," interim Chief Executive Alan Rosskamm said in a statement.

However, the company, whose brands include Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug and Catherines, also said it has renewed its Master Trust's $50 million credit card receivables facility, and it has no borrowings outstanding on its $375 million line of credit, which is committed through July 2010.

For the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, the company posted a loss of $108.5 million, or 94 cents a share, compared with a loss of $44.9 million, or 39 cents a share, the year earlier.

Excluding charges, it posted a loss of 34 cents a share. Looking ahead, it forecast a first-quarter loss of 3 cents a share to 7 cents a share on net sales from continuing operations of $535 million to $545 million.

Analysts on average were looking at a loss of 6 cents a share, before items, on revenue of $567.4 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

Charming Shoppes also expects 2010 net capital expenditures of about $24 million -- a cut of 50 percent compared with the year earlier.

Shares of the Bensalem, Pennsylvania-based company closed at $1.19 Tuesday on Nasdaq.

For related alerts, double click (Reporting by Renju Jose in Bangalore; Editing by Anil D'Silva ) (([email protected]; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 080 4135 5967; Reuters messaging: [email protected]))

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