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Abercrombie & Fitch Co : ABERCROMBIE & FITCH REPORTS RECORD SALES AND STRONG EARNINGS GROWTH BOARD OF DIRECTORS INCREASES



 Abercrombie & Fitch Co : ABERCROMBIE & FITCH REPORTS RECORD SALES AND STRONG
   EARNINGS GROWTH BOARD OF DIRECTORS INCREASES QUARTERLY DIVIDEND TO $0.20
            ANNOUNCES CHANGE IN METHOD OF ACCOUNTING FOR INVENTORY

New Albany, Ohio, February 22, 2013:  Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF)
today reported preliminary unaudited fourth quarter results which reflected
net income of $173.2 million and net income per diluted share of $2.15 for the
fourteen weeks ended February 2, 2013, compared to net income of $19.6 million
and net income per diluted share of $0.22 for the thirteen weeks ended January
28, 2012 under the retail method of accounting for inventory. Additionally,
the Company reported full year net income of $263.2 million and net income per
diluted share of $3.16 for the fifty-three weeks ended February 2, 2013,
compared to net income of $127.7 million and net income per diluted share of
$1.43 for the fifty-two weeks ended January 28, 2012 under the retail method.

The Company also announced that it has changed its method of accounting for
inventory from the retail method to the cost method effective in the fourth
quarter. The Company believes it is useful to investors to provide the fourth
quarter and full year results under both the retail and cost methods of
accounting for inventory to assess the Company's performance in Fiscal 2012.
For more information about the change from the retail method to the cost
method of accounting for inventory, see "Cost Method of Accounting for
Inventory" below and the appendix to the investor presentation that will be
available in the "Investors" section of the Company's website at
www.abercrombie.com at approximately 8:00 AM, Eastern Time.

Under the cost method of accounting for inventory, the Company reported net
income of $157.2 million and net income per diluted share of $1.95 for the
fourteen weeks ended February 2, 2013, compared to restated net income of
$45.8 million and restated net income per diluted share of $0.52 for the
thirteen weeks ended January 28, 2012. Under the cost method, the Company
reported net income of $237.0 million and net income per diluted share of
$2.85 for the fifty-three weeks ended February 2, 2013, compared to restated
net income of $143.9 million and restated net income per diluted share of
$1.61 for the fifty-two weeks ended January 28, 2012.

The results reported above under both the retail and cost methods include
charges as set out in the table below. The table below also shows adjusted net
income per diluted share under the retail method excluding such charges (a
non-GAAP financial measure) for the fiscal quarters and fiscal years ended
February 2, 2013 and January 28, 2012.

                                         Fourth Quarter ^(1)  Fiscal Year ^(1)
                                            2012      2011     2012     2011
Net income per diluted share under the
cost method on a GAAP basis              $    1.95  $ 0.52    $ 2.85  $ 1.61
Impact of the change in method of
accounting for inventory                      0.20   (0.30 )    0.31   (0.18 )
Net income per diluted share under the
retail method                            $    2.15  $ 0.22    $ 3.16  $ 1.43
Add back: Asset impairment charges            0.06    0.50      0.06    0.49
Add back: Asset write-downs                      -    0.10         -    0.10
Add back: Store closure and lease exit
charges                                          -    0.13         -    0.13
Add back: Legal charges                          -    0.07         -    0.07
Add back: ARS charges                            -    0.10         -    0.09
Net income per diluted share on a
non-GAAP basis under the retail method   $    2.21  $ 1.12    $ 3.22  $ 2.31

^(1) Non-GAAP financial measures should not be used as alternatives to net
income per diluted share and are also not intended to supersede or replace the
Company's GAAP financial measures. The Company believes it is useful to
investors to provide the non-GAAP financial measures to assess the Company's
performance.

Mike Jeffries, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of
Abercrombie & Fitch Co., said:

"We are very pleased with our results for the fourth quarter. Our record sales
were in line with our guidance coming into the quarter, and our earnings
significantly exceeded expectations due to a strong gross margin performance
for the quarter, allied with continued tight expense control.

Despite a challenging U.S. retail environment over the holiday period, our
core U.S. chain plus DTC comparable sales remained positive and we saw
continued sequential improvement in our international business.  We come into
2013 feeling very optimistic that we are well positioned to make continued
strong progress over the next few years and to drive our operating margin and
return on invested capital higher.

Our brands remain incredibly strong and resonant on a global basis. On the
front line of our business, our stores organization does a world-class job of
presenting those brands to the world, and we are well positioned to reap the
benefits from all of the investments we have made in systems over the past
couple of years, including continued strong growth in our DTC business."
  
Fourth Quarter Summary

Net sales for the fourteen weeks ended February 2, 2013 increased 11% to
$1.469 billion from $1.329 billion for the thirteen weeks ended January 28,
2012. Total U.S. sales, including direct-to-consumer sales, increased 1% to
$976.4 million. Total international sales, including direct-to-consumer sales,
increased 34% to $492.2 million. Total Company direct-to-consumer sales,
including shipping and handling, increased 26% to $266.4 million.

The Fiscal 2012 retail year includes a fifty-third week and therefore fourth
quarter comparable sales are compared to the fourteen week period ended
February 4, 2012. The fourteenth week added approximately $62.8 million of
sales to the comparable base, being sales for the week ended February 4, 2012.
Total comparable sales for the quarter, including direct to consumer sales,
decreased 1% with comparable store sales decreasing 4% and comparable direct
to consumer sales increasing by 17% relative to last year.

Comparable sales for the fourth quarter were flat for the U.S., with
comparable store sales decreasing by 1% and comparable direct to consumer
sales up 5%. Comparable sales for the fourth quarter decreased 3% for
international, with comparable store sales decreasing by 14% and comparable
direct to consumer sales up 52%. The Company believes the change to include
direct to consumer sales in comparable sales is appropriate now that it has a
more established comparable sales base for its international direct to
consumer operations.

By brand, comparable sales, including direct to consumer sales, were flat for
Abercrombie & Fitch, increased 4% for abercrombie kids, and decreased 2% for
Hollister Co. Total sales by brand were $541.3 million for Abercrombie &
Fitch, $128.7 million for abercrombie kids and $762.7 million for Hollister
Co.

The gross profit rate under the retail method for the fourth quarter was
65.3%, 920 basis points higher than last year's fourth quarter gross profit
rate. The increase in the gross profit rate was primarily driven by a decrease
in average unit cost and the effect of higher markdowns on carryover inventory
in the prior year. The gross profit rate under the cost method for the fourth
quarter was 63.4%, 390 basis points higher than last year's restated fourth
quarter gross profit rate. The increase in the gross profit rate under the
cost method was primarily driven by a decrease in average unit cost.

Stores and distribution expense for the fourth quarter was $577.2 million, or
39.3% of net sales.  Stores and distribution expense for the fourth quarter
included charges for impairments of $7.4 million.  Excluding the effect of
these charges, the stores and distribution expense rate was 38.8% for the
fourth quarter of Fiscal 2012 compared to 37.7% last year excluding
store-related asset impairment and asset write-down charges and store closure
and lease exit charges. The increase in the stores and distribution expense
rate was primarily the result of deleveraging on negative comparable store
sales plus higher direct to consumer expense.

Marketing, general and administrative expense for the fourth quarter was
$122.3 million, compared to $111.6 million during the same period last year.
The fourth quarter of Fiscal 2011 included $10.0 million in charges in
connection with legal settlements.  The increase in marketing, general and
administrative expense was due to increases in incentive and other
compensation related expenses, IT, marketing and other expenses.

Other operating income for the fourteen weeks ended February 2, 2013 was $13.7
million compared to an expense of $7.6 million for the thirteen weeks ended
January 28, 2012. Other operating income for the fourteen weeks ended February
2, 2013 included income of $4.8 million related to business interruption
insurance recoveries associated with Superstorm Sandy. Other operating expense
for the thirteen weeks ended January 28, 2012 included expense of $13.4
million related to a change in intent regarding auction rate securities.

Fiscal Year 2012 Summary

Net sales for the fifty-three weeks ended February 2, 2013 increased 8% to
$4.511 billion from $4.158 billion for the fifty-two weeks ended January 28,
2012. Total U.S. sales, including direct-to-consumer sales, decreased 1% to
$3.087 billion. Total international sales, including direct-to-consumer sales,
increased 36% to $1.424 billion. Total Company direct-to-consumer sales,
including shipping and handling, increased 27% to $700.7 million.

The Fiscal 2012 retail year includes a fifty-third week and therefore Fiscal
2012 comparable sales are compared to the fifty-three week period ended
February 4, 2012.  The fifty-third week added approximately $62.8 million of
sales to the comparable base, being sales for the week ended February 4, 2012.
Total comparable sales for the year, including direct to consumer sales,
decreased 1% with comparable store sales decreasing 5% and comparable direct
to consumer sales increasing by 24% relative to last year.

Comparable sales for the full year increased 1% for the U.S., with comparable
store sales decreasing by 1% and comparable direct to consumer sales up 15%.
Comparable sales for the full year decreased 8% for international, with
comparable store sales decreasing by 19% and comparable direct to consumer
sales up 46%.

For Fiscal 2012, comparable sales by brand, including direct to consumer
sales, decreased 3% for Abercrombie & Fitch, were flat for abercrombie kids,
and decreased 1% for Hollister Co. Total sales by brand for Fiscal 2012 were
$1.704 billion for Abercrombie & Fitch, $382.5 million for abercrombie kids
and $2.314 billion for Hollister Co.

The gross profit rate under the retail method for the fiscal year was 63.4%,
280 basis points higher than last year's gross profit rate. The increase in
the gross profit rate was primarily driven by a decrease in average unit cost
and the effect of higher markdowns on carryover inventory in the prior year.
The gross profit rate under the cost method for the fiscal year was 62.4%, 110
basis points higher than last year's restated gross profit rate. The increase
in the gross profit rate was primarily driven by a decrease in average unit
cost.

Stores and distribution expense for the fiscal year was $1.988 billion, or
44.1% of net sales.  Stores and distribution expense for the full year
included charges for impairments of $7.4 million.  Excluding the effect of
these charges, the stores and distribution expense rate was 43.9% for Fiscal
2012 compared to 43.0% last year excluding store-related asset impairment and
asset write-down charges and store closure and lease exit charges. The
increase in the stores and distribution expense rate was primarily the result
of deleveraging on negative comparable store sales plus higher direct to
consumer expense.

Marketing, general and administrative expense for the fiscal year was $473.9
million, compared to $437.1 million during the comparable period last year.
Fiscal 2011 included $10.0 million in charges in connection with legal
settlements.  The increase in marketing, general and administrative expense
was due to increases in incentive and other compensation related expenses, IT,
marketing and other expenses.

Other operating income for the fifty-three weeks ended February 2, 2013 was
$19.3 million compared to an expense of $3.5 million for the fifty-two weeks
ended January 28, 2012. Other operating income for the fifty-three weeks ended
February 2, 2013 included income of $4.8 million related to business
interruption insurance recoveries associated with Superstorm Sandy. Other
operating expense for the fifty-two weeks ended January 28, 2012 included a
charge of $13.4 million related to a change in intent regarding the auction
rate securities.

Fiscal 2012 total capital expenditures were $340 million, which consisted of
approximately $245 million for new stores, store refreshes and remodels, and
approximately $95 million related to information technology, distribution
center and other home office projects.

During Fiscal 2012, the Company repurchased 7.5 million shares of its common
stock at an aggregate cost of approximately $321.7 million, including 1.2
million shares of its common stock at an aggregate cost of approximately $56.2
million in the fourth quarter. As of February 2, 2013, the Company had
approximately 18.7 million shares remaining available for purchase under its
publicly announced stock repurchase authorizations.

The Company ended Fiscal 2012 with approximately $645.7 million in cash and
cash equivalents compared to $583.5 million in cash and cash equivalents and
$99.5 million in marketable securities at the end of Fiscal 2011. During the
fourth quarter, the Company amended its Term Loan Agreement reducing the
availability from $300.0 million to $150.0 million. Including cash and
equivalents, the amended Term Loan Agreement and the availability of $350.0
million under the Amended and Restated Credit Agreement, the Company had
$1.146 billion in available liquidity, less immaterial letters of credit, as
of February 2, 2013. On February 21, 2013, the Company elected to draw down
the full $150.0 million available under the Term Loan Agreement at an
effective interest rate of 1.96%.

During Fiscal 2012, the Company opened 40 new international stores, three
domestic  multi-branded outlet stores and closed 47 stores in the U.S. A
summary of store openings and closings for the fourteen and fifty-three week
periods ended February 2, 2013 is included with the financial statement
schedules following this release.

Cost Method of Accounting for Inventory

Historically, the Company has valued inventory utilizing the retail method of
accounting. Under the retail method, a cost-to-retail relationship was
established at the item level based upon weighted average cost and initial
retail selling price. The Company reduced the value of its inventory and
recorded a charge to cost of goods sold when the retail selling price was
permanently reduced so as to maintain the already established cost-to-retail
relationship. In addition, for inventory on hand at the end of a reporting
period, the Company reduced the inventory value by recording a valuation
reserve that represented future anticipated permanent reductions in retail
selling price. Under the cost method, the Company does not reduce the value of
its inventory or recognize any impact of permanent reductions to the retail
selling price in cost of goods sold unless the Company expects to sell the
merchandise below original cost. The Company believes the new methodology is
preferable as it better aligns with the Company's focus on realized selling
margin and improves the comparability of its financial results with those of
its competitors. The change is being applied retroactively to prior periods
and the Company has included a schedule of restated Consolidated Statements of
of Income for the year-to-date periods for Fiscal 2011 and Fiscal 2010 along
with restated quarterly Consolidated Statements of Income beginning with the
first quarter of Fiscal 2011. In connection with this change, the Company's
annual 10-K filing will be on the cost method with prior year figures restated
accordingly.

Other Developments

On February 21, 2013, the Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash
dividend at the increased rate of $0.20 per share on the Class A Common Stock
of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. payable on March 19, 2013 to shareholders of record
at the close of business on March 4, 2013.

2013 Outlook

With regards to Fiscal 2013, the Company projects earnings per share in the
range of $3.35 to $3.45 under the cost method of accounting for inventory.

In Fiscal 2013, the Company expects to open Abercrombie & Fitch flagship
locations in Seoul and Shanghai, as well as approximately 20 international
Hollister stores throughout the year. The Company expects to close
approximately 40-50 stores in the U.S. during 2013, primarily through natural
lease expirations.

Based on current new store plans and other planned expenditures, the Company
expects total capital expenditures for Fiscal 2013 to be approximately $200
million, predominately related to new stores and investments in IT
initiatives.  

An investor presentation of fourth quarter results will be available in the
"Investors" section of the Company's website at www.abercrombie.com at
approximately 8:00 AM, Eastern Time, today.

At the end of Fiscal 2012, the Company operated a total of 1,051 stores.  The
Company operated 266 Abercrombie & Fitch stores, 144 abercrombie kids stores,
482 Hollister Co. stores and 20 Gilly Hicks stores in the United States.  The
Company operated 19 Abercrombie & Fitch stores, six abercrombie kids stores,
107 Hollister Co. stores and seven Gilly Hicks stores internationally. The
Company operates e-commerce websites at www.abercrombie.com,
www.abercrombiekids.com, www.hollisterco.com and www.gillyhicks.com.

Today at 8:30 AM, Eastern Time, the Company will conduct a conference call.
 Management will discuss the Company's performance and its plans for the
future and will accept questions from participants. To listen to the
conference call, dial (877) 548-7906 and ask for the Abercrombie & Fitch
Quarterly Call or go to www.abercrombie.com. The international call-in number
is (719) 325-4795. This call will be recorded and made available by dialing
the replay number (888) 203-1112 or the international number (719) 457-0820
followed by the conference ID number 9640252 or through www.abercrombie.com.

For further information, call:
ICR, Inc.
Joe Teklits joseph.teklits@icrinc.com
203-682-8258

   

SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT UNDER THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF
1995

A&F cautions that any forward-looking statements (as such term is defined in
the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) contained in this Press
Release or made by management of A&F involve risks and uncertainties and are
subject to change based on various factors, many of which may be beyond the
Company's control. Words such as "estimate," "project," "plan," "believe,"
"expect," "anticipate," "intend," and similar expressions may identify
forward-looking statements.  Except as may be required by applicable law, we
assume no obligation to publicly update or revise our forward-looking
statements.  The following factors, in addition to those included in the
disclosure under the heading " FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS AND RISK FACTORS" in
"ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS" of A&F's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal
year ended January 28, 2012, in some cases have affected and in the future
could affect the Company's financial performance and could cause actual
results for the 2012 fiscal year and beyond to differ materially from those
expressed or implied in any of the forward-looking statements included in this
Press Release or otherwise made by management: changes in economic and
financial conditions, and the resulting impact on consumer confidence and
consumer spending, could have a material adverse effect on our business,
results of operations and liquidity; if we are unable to anticipate, identify
and respond to changing fashion trends and consumer preferences in a timely
manner, and manage our inventory commensurate with customer demand, our sales
levels and profitability may decline; fluctuations in the cost, availability
and quality of raw materials, labor and transportation, could cause
manufacturing delays and increase our costs; equity-based compensation awarded
under the employment agreement with our Chief Executive Officer could
adversely impact our cash flows, financial position or results of operations
and could have a dilutive effect on our outstanding Common Stock; our growth
strategy relies significantly on international expansion, which adds
complexity to our operations and may strain our resources and adversely impact
current store performance; our international expansion plan is dependent on a
number of factors, any of which could delay or prevent successful penetration
into new markets or could adversely affect the profitability of our
international operations; our direct-to-consumer sales are subject to numerous
risks that could adversely impact sales; we have incurred, and may continue to
incur, significant costs related to store closures; our development of a new
brand concept such as Gilly Hicks could have a material adverse effect on our
financial condition or results of operations; fluctuations in foreign currency
exchange rates could adversely impact our financial condition and results of
operations; our business could suffer if our information technology systems
are disrupted or cease to operate effectively; comparable store sales may
continue to fluctuate on a regular basis and impact the volatility of the
price of our Common Stock; our market share may be negatively impacted by
increasing competition and pricing pressures from companies with brands or
merchandise competitive with ours; our stock price may be volatile and
investors may not be able to resell shares of our Common Stock at or above the
price paid to acquire the shares; our ability to attract customers to our
stores depends, in part, on the success of the shopping malls in which most of
our stores are located; our net sales fluctuate on a seasonal basis, causing
our results of operations to be susceptible to changes in Back-to-School and
Holiday shopping patterns; our inability to accurately plan for product demand
and allocate merchandise effectively could have a material adverse effect on
our results; our failure to protect our reputation could have a material
adverse effect on our brands; we rely on the experience and skills of our
senior executive officers, the loss of whom could have a material adverse
effect on our business; interruption in the flow of merchandise from our key
vendors and international manufacturers could disrupt our supply chain, which
could result in lost sales and could increase our costs; we do not own or
operate any manufacturing facilities and, therefore, depend upon independent
third parties for the manufacture of all our merchandise; our reliance on two
distribution centers domestically and two third-party distribution centers
internationally makes us susceptible to disruptions or adverse conditions
affecting our distribution centers; our reliance on third parties to deliver
merchandise from our distribution centers to our stores and direct-to-consumer
customers could result in disruptions to our business; we may be exposed to
risks and costs associated with credit card fraud and identity theft that
would cause us to incur unexpected expenses and loss of revenues;
modifications and/or upgrades to our information technology systems may
disrupt our operations; our facilities, systems and stores, as well as the
facilities and systems of our vendors and manufacturers, are vulnerable to
natural disasters, pandemic disease and other unexpected events, any of which
could result in an interruption to our business and adversely affect our
operating results; our litigation exposure could have a material adverse
effect on our financial condition and results of operations; our inability or
failure to adequately protect our trademarks could have a negative impact on
our brand image and limit our ability to penetrate new markets; fluctuations
in our tax obligations and effective tax rate may result in volatility in our
operating results; the effects of war or acts of terrorism could have a
material adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition; our
inability to obtain commercial insurance at acceptable prices or our failure
to adequately reserve for self-insured exposures might increase our expenses
and adversely impact our financial results; operating results and cash flows
at the store level may cause us to incur impairment charges; we are subject to
customs, advertising, consumer protection, privacy, zoning and occupancy and
labor and employment laws that could require us to modify our current business
practices, incur increased costs or harm our reputation if we do not comply;
changes in the regulatory or compliance landscape could adversely affect our
business and results of operations; our unsecured Amended and Restated Credit
Agreement (the "Amended and Restated Credit Agreement") and our Term Loan
Agreement include financial and other covenants that impose restrictions on
our financial and business operations; our operations may be affected by
regulatory changes related to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions; and
compliance with changing regulations and standards for accounting, corporate
governance and public disclosure could adversely affect our business, results
of operations and reported financial results.

ER Financials Q4 2012 FINAL

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of Thomson
Reuters clients.

The owner of this announcement warrants that:
(i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and other
applicable laws; and
(ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of
the
information contained therein.

Source: Abercrombie & Fitch Co via Thomson Reuters ONE
HUG#1680301
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