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Mothers Work Reports (Maternity)

From: ASAP


Mothers Work, Inc. today announced operating results for the fourth quarter and year ended September 30, 2001. Net income for fiscal 2001 was $2.0 million or $0.55 per common share compared to net income for fiscal 2000 of $3.7 million or $1.01 per common share. Net sales for fiscal 2001 increased 6.0% to $388.3 million from $366.3 million in fiscal 2000. The increase was primarily due to the 68 net new stores the Company has opened since September 30, 2000, and the growth of the company's internet business. Comparable store sales decreased by 2.4% during fiscal 2001 (based on 600 locations) versus a comparable store sales increase of 8.3% during fiscal 2000 (based on 532 locations). In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001, the company reported a net loss of $186,000 or $0.05 per common share compared to a net loss for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2000 of $203,000 or $0.06 per common share. Net sales for the fourth quarter increased 0.4% to $92.6 million from $92.2 million in the same quarter of the preceding year. Comparable store sales decreased 6.0% during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001 (based on 661 locations). The fourth quarter fiscal 2000 comparable store sales increase was 7.4% (based on 575 locations). Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was $33.2 million for fiscal 2001, compared to $37.1 million for fiscal 2000. EBITDA was $6.9 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001, compared to $7.3 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2000. Rebecca Matthias, President and Chief Operating Officer of Mothers Work, Inc., noted, "We are pleased with our fourth quarter financial results in the face of an extraordinarily difficult retail environment. The retail recession and the tragedy of September 11th put additional negative pressure on our comparable sales. Nonetheless, our net loss was slightly reduced compared to last year's September quarter, and we experienced only moderate slippage in fourth quarter EBITDA. Additionally, we were able to achieve our inventory management goals, as inventory fell by $2.7 million year over year while we opened 68 new stores. This allowed us to finish the year with an improvement of $5.6 million in net liquidity. The company is well positioned for fiscal 2002 and what looks to be a continued difficult selling climate. We are planning to open approximately 60 new stores, but at significantly reduced capital expenditure levels. We expect that our margins will continue to improve, and our expenses will be well controlled. The integration of the iMaternity business, which is progressing successfully, is expected to provide top line, EBITDA and earnings growth, while leveraging infrastructure. This should allow us to make meaningful progress in our debt reduction program. Should consumer confidence bounce back, 2002 could be even stronger." Mothers Work is the world's largest designer, manufacturer and retailer of maternity apparel, using its custom TrendTrack(TM) computer systems and quick response replenishment process to "give the customer what she wants, when she wants it." Mothers Work currently operates 948 maternity locations, including 816 stores and 132 leased departments, predominantly under the tradenames Motherhood Maternity(R), A Pea in the Pod(R), Mimi Maternity(R), iMaternity (R), MotherTime(R) and Dan Howard(TM) and sells on the web through its www.maternitymall.com and iMaternity.com sites.

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