Abercrombie & Fitch posts wider-than-expected loss; shares slip

FILE PHOTO: An Abercrombie & Fitch store is shown in La Jolla, California, U.S., May 17, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) – Abercrombie & Fitch Co (ANF.N) posted a steeper-than-expected quarterly loss on Thursday, as the apparel retailer had to close stores across the globe due to the COVID-19 pandemic, sending its shares down 8% in premarket trade.

The temporary closures of its recently remodeled stores have slowed Abercrombie’s efforts to revive its struggling flagship clothing brand, hurt by past fashion missteps. The crisis also hampered growth at Hollister.

Net sales fell 34% to $485.4 million (£396.34 million) for the first quarter ended May 2, its biggest drop in at least over a decade, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

The company said it was not providing a detailed outlook for the second quarter or the full year, but added that sales at its reopened stores in the United States and EMEA regions were tracking at about 80% and 60%, respectively, compared to year-ago levels.

Net loss attributable to the company widened to $244.2 million from $19.2 million, a year earlier, mainly due to asset impairment charges of $43 million.

Excluding one-time items, the company reported a loss of $3.29 per share in the first quarter, larger than analysts’ average estimate of a loss of $1.39 per share according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Reporting by Aditi Sebastian; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Rashmi Aich

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