Chico’s swings to profit, comparable sales jump 40.6 percent
Chico's FAS, Inc. posted 43.9 million dollars or 28 cents net income per diluted share for the first quarter compared to a net loss of 8.9 million dollars or 8 cents loss per diluted share, for last year's first quarter.
Net sales were 540.9 million dollars, up 39.4 percent reflecting a comparable sales increase of 40.6 percent, partially offset by 29 permanent store closures since last year's first quarter.
Commenting on the first quarter results, Molly Langenstein, Chico's FAS chief executive officer and president, said: "Fiscal 2022 is off to a great start as reflected by a strong first quarter sales beat driven by continued digital and store growth, meaningful gross margin rate expansion and substantially better than anticipated operating income. After achieving a successful turnaround, our team is now focused on delivering our three-year growth plan, and we are pleased with the great progress underway."
Highlights of Chico’s strong Q1 results
For the first quarter, gross margin was 216.6 million dollars or 40 percent of net sales, compared to 126.8 million dollars or 32.7 percent of net sales, in last year's first quarter, a 730-basis point improvement.
Chico's brand comparable sales were up 52 percent. Compared to the thirteen weeks ended May 4, 2019 , Chico's delivered sales gains on learner inventory, achieved higher sell-through rates on regular price and drove increased average unit retail.
White House Black Market (WHBM) posted a 65 percent comparable sales increase in the first quarter. Soma posted a first quarter net sales increase of 0.5 percent, driven largely by the foundations business and partially offset by the slowdown in lounge and cozy categories.
For the fiscal 2022 second quarter, the company currently expects consolidated net sales of 535 million dollars to 550 million dollars; gross margin rate as a percent of net sales of 38.7 percent to 39.4 percent; and earnings per diluted share of 21 cents to 26 cents.
For the fiscal 2022 full year, the company currently expects consolidated net sales of 2,130 million dollars to 2,160 million dollars; gross margin rate as a percent of net sales of 38.3 percent to 38.6 percent; and earnings per diluted share of 64 cents to 74 cents.