Ann Taylor has strong quarter

New York City Ann Taylor Stores Corp. returned to profitability in its fiscal first quarter, helped by strong performances at both its namesake and Ann Taylor Loft stores and more full-price purchases.

The retailer reported net income of $22.6 million for the period ended May 1, versus a net loss of $2.3 million a year earlier.

Revenue climbed 12% to $476.2 million, from $426.7 million. Same-store sales rose 14.1%. Comparable sales for the Ann Taylor brand were up16.4%, while Ann Taylor Loft’s sales rose 12.5%.

Kay Krill, president and CEO commented: "Fiscal 2010 is off to an excellent start, with both Ann Taylor and LOFT achieving outstanding results for the first quarter. A substantial uptick in sales, including double-digit comparable sales increases at both brands, and a strong gross margin rate drove the dramatic improvement over year-ago results. Clients responded positively to our Spring collections at both brands, and we were pleased with the increased traffic levels and improved in-store metrics during the quarter.”

Ann Taylor Stores had 903 Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Factory, Loft and Loft outlet stores in 46 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico at quarter's end.