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Trans World Posts Strong Q4, Fiscal Year Results

26 Feb, 2004 By: Jessica Wolf

Trans World Entertainment posted increases in sales, net income and comparable-store sales for fourth-quarter and fiscal-year 2003.

Net income for fourth-quarter 2003 stood at $36.9 million , or $0.99 per diluted share, an increase over the previous year's net loss of 4.8 million, or $0.12 per share. Net income increases for fourth-quarter 2003 included the company's extraordinary gains related to the acquisition of Wherehouse Entertainment and CD World stores in third-quarter 2003.

Total sales for the fourth quarter increased 12 percent, to $542 million, compared to $483.7 million in 2002. Comparable-store sales increased 4 percent.

And comparable-store sales continued to increase into February, said Robert J. Higgins, Trans World chairman and CEO.

“These results reflect the improvement in the music business and our increasing market share in video and other entertainment categories,” Higgins said.

Also included in fourth-quarter 2003 results is a $3.7 million pre-tax charge to write off the company's Internet assets. Trans World is outsourcing its online operations to BuyServices Inc., which will “reduce our expenses by approximately $3 million on an annual basis,” according to Higgins.

For the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2004, total sales increased 4 percent from 2002, to $1.3 billion, comp-store sales increased by 1 percent, and net income rose to $23.1 million, or $0.60 per diluted share, over a net loss in fiscal 2002 of $45.5 million. Trans World's fiscal year net earnings include $4.3 million in extraordinary gain from the purchase of Wherehouse Entertainment and CD World Inc.

“We expect to continue to improve our comparable-store sales results through a combination of improved releases in music, continued growth in DVD and further development of our business initiatives,” Higgins said. “Continued efforts by the music industry to reduce piracy will further drive more consumers back into the stores and increase sales.”

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