JoS. A. Bank Clothiers (JOSB) reported an 18.3% decline in fiscal 2012 profit that bested Wall Street expectations on Wednesday but said it remained cautious about the current quarter.

Higher marketing expenses and lower gross margin offset fiscal 2012 sales gains. The fourth quarter was impacted by Hurricane Sandy and disappointing results of holiday promotions for sweaters and other wintertime clothes, which JoS. Bank blamed on unusually warm weather.

Same-store sales, a key measurement of sales at stores open longer than a year, slumped 0.5%. 

JoS. Bank CEO R. Neal Black said the company was disappointed it was not able to drive better-than-expected gains in its comparable stores and remained cautious on the first quarter despite improved year-over-year sales in the first weight weeks of fiscal 2013.

However, he remained optimistic.

"Although we did not achieve an increase over the record earnings of fiscal year 2011, we were still very profitable with net income of 7.6% of net sales in fiscal year 2012,” he said.

The Hampstead, Md.-based maker of men’s suits and apparel reported full-year net income of $79.7 million, or $2.84 a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $97.5 million, or $3.49.

The results topped average analyst estimates of $2.80 a share in a Thomson Reuters poll.

Revenue for the three months ended Feb. 2 grew 7.1% to $1.05 billion from $980 million a year ago, but narrowly missed the Street’s view of $1.06 billion.

Black said JoS. Bank will focus on returning the retailer to previous levels of gross margin rates and advertising productivity in the current fiscal year.

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