Sales Rise for Federated, Too Inc.

Positive results characterized the quarterly numbers reported yesterday by Federated Department Stores Inc. and Too Inc.

Federated, Cincinnati, said operating income in the first quarter ended May 1 reached $216 million, or 6.1 percent of sales, compared with $146 million or 4.4 percent of sales for first-quarter 2003.

Sales for first-quarter 2004 totaled $3.52 billion, a 6.9 percent rise from the same period last year. On a same-store basis, year-to-date sales were up 6.9 percent.

Cash flow from operating activities was $34 million in the quarter compared with $204 million in year-ago period. Last year's total benefited from lower income tax payments, reflecting the use of Fingerhut net operating losses. First-quarter earnings included store closing and consolidation costs of $19 million, including $7 million related to the Macy's home store centralization. Another $4 million of that includes the cost of sales related to the Burdines-Macy's consolidation in Florida.

Too Inc., New Albany, OH, generated net income for the first quarter ended May 1 of $5.2 million on net sales of $154.1 million, compared with first-quarter 2003 net income of $4.2 million on net sales of $138 million.

Comparable-store sales for the quarter rose 2 percent, versus an 18 percent decrease for the like period last year. The company said the earlier Easter this year compared with 2003 resulted in a shift in comparable-store sales of about 2 percentage points from second-quarter to first-quarter 2004.

Hanover Direct Inc., Edgewater, NJ, late Tuesday said total net revenue for the 13 weeks ended March 27 was $95.3 million, down $7.2 million (7 percent) from the prior-year period. Also reported was net income applicable to common shareholders of $400,000 compared with a net loss of $3.5 million in the prior-year period.

The company said Internet sales continue to show growth over the prior year, reaching 32.2 percent of total Internet and catalog revenue for the 13-week period ended March 27. Internet net revenue for the 13 weeks ended March 27 totaled $28.6 million, or 12.1 percent above the comparable fiscal period in 2003. The company's catalog and Internet portfolio of home fashions, apparel and gift brands includes Domestications, The Company Store, Company Kids, Silhouettes, International Male, Scandia Down and Gump's by Mail.

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