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Ascena Retail Q2 net sales tumble to US $ 1.719 billion

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US-based Ascena Retail Group, a leading national speciality retailer offering apparel, shoes, and accessories for women, has announced the financial results for the second quarter of the current fiscal year.

During the period under review, net sales of the retailer declined to US $ 1.719 billion from US $ 1.748 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal. A 2 per cent drop in comparable sales was seen as the major factor behind the decline in the overall net sales of the fashion retail company.

Further, Ascena reported a decline in its gross margin to US $ 929 million in the reporting quarter as compared to US $ 946 million in the corresponding period of last year.

The retailer reported an operating loss of US $ 36 million in the second quarter as against US $ 45 million in the same period a year ago.

“Our second quarter adjusted loss of 12 cents per share came in at the lower end of our guide. An improvement in top-line trend was offset by margin rate pressure primarily related to the final clearance of non-performing product categories at our Value Fashion and Premium Fashion segments that carried over from the first quarter,” said David Jaffe, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ascena Retail Group Inc.

Ascena, which operates around 4,800 stores throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico under a variety of banners including Ann Taylor, Loft, maurices, Dressbarn, Catherines and Justice, now expects to note net sales in the range of US $ 1.48 to US $ 1.52 billion in the third quarter.

A 3 to 5 per cent decline is also expected by the company in its comparable sales in the next quarter while operating income is likely to be in the range of US $ 5 to US $ 20 million.