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Electronics Boutique Q4 Sales Soar

3/15/2002 08:32:00 AM Eastern

West Chester, Pa. - Specialty retailer Electronics Boutique Holdings enjoyed the multiple luxury of increased sales and earnings in its fiscal fourth quarter.

The video game hardware and software and PC entertainment software and accessories company reported a 47 percent increase in total revenue for the three months, hitting $490.5 million, up from $334 million in the year-ago period. Net income for the same period, ending Feb. 2, but excluding special items, was $27 million, up from $13.1 million in the fourth quarter a year ago.

The $27 million of net income excludes a $14.9 million pre-tax charge related to costs associated with the company's decision to discontinue its EB Kids operations and sell its BC Sports Collectibles business.

Electronics Boutique reported increased domestic comp-store sales of 41.8 percent for its fourth quarter and a 22.1 percent comp-store gain for the 12 months.

'Our results for fiscal 2002 reflect exceptionally strong consumer interest in gaming technology supported by an installed base of PlayStation2 console systems that grew to a level twice that of the original PlayStation in the same period since its launch,' said Jeffrey Griffiths, president/CEO.

'In addition to this established and growing consumer base for PlayStation2, the launch of Nintendo's Game Boy Advance and GameCube, and Microsoft's Xbox late last year has generated tremendous consumer excitement and momentum,' Griffiths said.

For the 12 months, total revenue at Electronics Boutique climbed 32 percent, reaching $1 billion, up from $770.8 million a year ago.

Net income for the 12 months was $26.9 million, excluding special charges, up from $13.9 million the previous fiscal year. Net income for the 12 months, including the special charges, was $17.7 million.

The company had 937 stores in operation at the end of the fiscal year, compared with 737 a year earlier. It expects to open about 200 new stores in fiscal 2003.

Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) for the 12 months decreased by 110 basis points, to 17.7 percent.

Looking ahead, the company is anticipating about a 10 percent increase in comp-store sales for the first fiscal quarter ending May 4. For the 12 months of fiscal 2003, it expects comp-store sales to increase in the range of 10 percent to 15 percent.

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