BUSINESS

Abercrombie posts bigger loss, but expects sales to improve

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW ALBANY, Ohio (AP) — Abercrombie & Fitch, which is the midst of overhauling its racy image, said it expects sales to improve in the next year.

The teen retailer's shares rose before the market opened Thursday.

Abercrombie & Fitch began to shake up its image earlier this year to reverse falling sales. In April, it said it will no longer have shirtless models in its stores and said it won't run "sexualized" ads.

Sales still fell 8 percent during the first quarter at stores open at least a year, hurt by the stronger dollar. But Abercrombie's Executive Chairman Arthur Martinez said the company had "sequential improvements in a number of areas" during the quarter.

"While our turnaround won't be accomplished overnight, we believe the changes we are making will reinvigorate our iconic brands," Martinez said in a statement.

For the next quarter and second half of the year, Abercrombie said it expects sales at stores open a year to improve. The company has about 790 Abercrombie and Hollister stores around the world.

The New Albany, Ohio-based company also posted first-quarter results Thursday, which missed Wall Street expectations. Its loss widened to $63.2 million, or 91 cents per share. Losses, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were 53 cents per share. The average estimate of 17 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for a loss of 34 cents per share.

Revenue fell 14 percent to $709.4 million, falling short of Street forecasts. Fourteen analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $733.7 million.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. shares rose more than 4 percent to $20.44 before the stock market open Thursday. Its shares are down about 44 percent in the last 12 months.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on ANF at http://www.zacks.com/ap/ANF

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Keywords: Abercrombie & Fitch, Earnings Report