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Express Q4 net sales decrease 29 percent, posts loss

By Prachi Singh

10 Mar 2021

Business

For the fourth quarter, Express Inc. reported consolidated net sales decrease of 29 percent to 430.3 million dollars, with consolidated comparable sales down 27 percent. Comparable retail sales, which include both Express stores and ecommerce, decreased 28 percent. Express said that the company is finalizing a strategy that will grow its digital channel to 1 billion dollars in 2024. For the full year of 2021, the company expects sequential comparable sales improvement throughout the year, significant gross margin improvement and positive EBITDA for the second half of the year.

“Over the past twelve months, we have effectively managed our liquidity while meaningfully advancing the Expressway Forward strategy. We took appropriate action and made progress despite extraordinary circumstances and market conditions,” said Tim Baxter, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, adding, “I expect sales to continue improving sequentially each quarter, and that we will return to positive EBITDA in the back half of the year.”

Review of Express’s Q4 operating results

The company added that comparable outlet sales decreased 27 percent in the fourth quarter. Gross margin was 16.6 percent of net sales compared to 27 percent in last year’s fourth quarter. Operating loss was 62.7 million dollars compared to a loss of 189.9 million dollars in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Net loss for the quarter was 53.3 million dollars or a loss of 82 cents per diluted share. On an adjusted basis, net loss was 43.1 million dollars or a loss of 66 cents per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2020. This compares to a net loss of 141.6 million dollars or a loss of 2.21 dollars per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2019. On an adjusted basis, net income was 13.8 million dollars or 21 cents per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2019. EBITDA was a loss of 45 million dollars compared to a loss of 168.7 million dollars in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Highlights of full year results at Express

The company’s full year consolidated net sales decreased 40 percent to 1,208 million dollars, with consolidated comparable sales down 27 percent. Comparable retail sales, which includes both Express stores and ecommerce, decreased 29 percent compared to 2019. Comparable outlet sales decreased 21 percent versus 2019.

Operating loss for the year was 455.2 million dollars compared to a loss of 217.9 million dollars in 2019. Net loss was 405.4 million dollars or a loss of 6.27 dollars per diluted share. On an adjusted basis, net loss was 314.3 million dollars or a loss of 4.86 dollars per diluted share, in 2020. This compares to a net loss of 164.4 million dollars or a loss of 2.49 dollars per diluted share, in 2019. On an adjusted basis, net loss was 5.1 million dollars or a loss of 8 cents per diluted share, in 2019. EBITDA was a loss of 384.7 million dollars compared to a loss of 132.8 million dollars in 2019.

Image: Express, Business Wire