Financial reports: Jos. A. Bank, J. Jill

Jos. A. Bank Profit Up 30%

Hampstead, MD-based men’s apparel cataloger/retailer Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (Nasdaq: JOSB) posted a 30% rise in annual net income and a 4% increase in net sales. For the fiscal year ended Feb. 2, net income was $6.5 million on sales of $211.0 million. For fiscal 2000, net income had been $5.0 million on sales of $206.3 million.

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001, net income improved 52%, to $4.4 million from $2.9 million last year. Net sales, however, fell 5%, to $67.3 million from $71.0 million.

Optimistic J. Jill Raises Earnings Guidance Women’s apparel cataloger/retailer J. Jill Group (Nasdaq:JILL) is raising its first-quarter diluted earnings per share target to $0.16-$0.18 from $0.08-$0.10. Last year, Jill earned $0.07 per diluted share. The company still projects first-quarter net sales at about $72.0 million. It will report results on April 25.

“We entered fiscal 2002 with very clean inventories and a merchandise assortment that was well received at retail and within our direct mail and e-commerce channels,” president/CEO Gordon Cooke said in a statement. “The strong acceptance of our spring product line, combined with very low levels of promotional activity vs. our plan, enabled us to significantly exceed our original earnings expectations.”

As for fiscal 2002, J. Jill expects net sales to increase 15%-20%. The Quincy, MA-based company also stated that it now expects fiscal 2002 diluted earnings per share of $1.24-$1.29, compared with $1.05 last year.