Federated Income, Sales Dip

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Federated Department Stores Inc., Cincinnati, yesterday posted operating income for the first quarter ended May 3 of $146 million, or 4.4 percent of sales, compared with $221 million, or 6.4 percent of sales, in the first quarter last year.


Cash flow from continuing operating activities reached $204 million in the quarter, up from $169 million last year. Sales in the quarter totaled $3.29 billion, a drop of 4.7 percent from $3.45 billion. On a same-store basis, year-to-date sales fell 5 percent.


In other news:


· Net sales at Tiffany & Co., New York, rose 14 percent for the three months ended April 30 to $395.84 million compared with $347.13 million in the previous year. Net earnings increased 10 percent to $35.86 million from $32.71 million a year ago. Direct marketing sales climbed 10 percent to $37.28 million versus $33.82 million a year ago. Combined catalog/Internet sales rose 22 percent as a result of continued strength in e-commerce.


· United Retail Group Inc., Rochelle Park, NJ, said that for the first quarter of fiscal 2003 ended May 3, net sales totaled $101.5 million compared with $115.6 million in the prior-year period. Comparable-store sales fell 12 percent in the quarter. The net loss was $4.5 million, down from net income of $2.9 million in the comparable period a year ago. URG brands include Avenue -- with catalog, retail and Internet operations -- and Cloudwalkers.com, with catalog and online operations.


· Too Inc., New Albany, OH, reported net income of $4.2 million in the fiscal first quarter ended May 3, down from $5.8 million for the year-ago period. Net sales were $140.1 million, versus $158.6 million in the 2002 period. The company cited "a fashion misstep" that influenced fourth-quarter results as continuing to affect part of Limited Too's spring apparel assortment.


Comparable-store sales dropped 18 percent, versus a 4 percent rise in the year-ago period. The later Easter holiday this year and "the resultant shift of the redemption period for its spring Too Bucks promotion" produced a shift of about $6.5 million in sales from first to second quarter.


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