American Apparel (NYSE:APP) narrowed its fourth-quarter loss but margins fell on growing raw material costs that could not wholly offset an improvement in sales.
The company lost $11.16 million, or 11 cents a share, last period, compared with a year-earlier loss of $19.3 million, or 27 cents. Revenue for the three-months ended Dec. 31 was $157.6 million, up 9% from $143.9 million.
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Sales were led by a 19% improvement in online sales, 6% growth in wholesale net sales and 9% increase in the average number of stores operated by American Apparel. Clearance blow-out sales at warehouses and other promotional activities also contributed to the growth.
However, gross margin declined to 53.2% from 55.6% due primarily to higher raw material and manufacturing overhead costs, as well as squeezed margins related to warehouse sales.
The company forecasts fiscal sales of $552 million to $559 million, versus fiscal 2011 revenue of $547.3 million.