J.C. Penney Sales, Profit Up for Quarter

J.C. Penney Company Inc., Plano, TX, reported yesterday that total retail sales in its department stores and catalog operations were $4.34 billion in the 13 weeks ended Oct. 25, a 0.8 percent increase from $4.31 billion in the comparable period ended Oct. 26, 2002.

However, the category produced a drop of 1.8 percent during the recently concluded 39-week period, from last year's $11.94 billion to $11.72 billion.

Segment operating profit for department stores and catalog in the quarter rose 21.8 percent from last year's $170 million to $207 million, but fell 2.3 percent from $349 million to $341 million in the year-to-year 39-week comparison.

Comparable department store sales increased 1.7 percent as Catalog/Internet sales were up 4.1 percent.

"Print media sales continue to strengthen, with good results from the Fall/Winter Big Book and a positive customer response to the Christmas catalog," the company said in a statement.

In other news, Abercrombie & Fitch, New Albany, OH, reported that net sales for the 13 weeks ended Nov. 1, increased 6 percent to $445 million from $419.3 million for the 13 weeks ended Nov. 2, 2002. Comparable store sales decreased 9 percent during the quarter. Net income for the quarter increased 6 percent to $50.5 million compared to net income of $47.7 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2002.

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