Express in fast lane as net income rises 7%; to launch outlet business

Columbus, Ohio -- Express Inc. reported a profitable second quarter of fiscal 2013, with year-over-year increases in net income, net sales and same-store sales. Net income rose 7% to $16.8 million, in line with Wall Street expectations, from $15.9 million. The retailer raised its full-year guidance and also announced plans to launch its outlet business in the second quarter of next year.

Net sales for the quarter increased a better-than-expected 7% to $486.2 million, from $454.9 million.

Same-store sales increased 6%, following a 1% hike in the second quarter if last year. This includes e-commerce sales, which increased 27% to $59.9 million. In last year's second quarter, e-commerce sales grew 24% to $47.2 million.

"We delivered a very solid second quarter,” said Michael Weiss, chairman and CEO of Express. “Financial highlights include high single digit sales growth, comparable sales that represent a return to mid-single digit growth and earnings per share that came near the upper end of our guidance. As we move into the second half of the year, we are confident in our product and marketing strategies, and believe we are well positioned for the fall and holiday seasons."

For the full fiscal year, Express is projecting a year-over-year improvement in same-store sales but a slight decline in net income compared to fiscal 2012.