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Profit Climbs Higher at Polo Ralph Lauren

Associated Press

Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. on Wednesday posted a 49 percent jump in profit for its latest quarter as sales of women's clothing and children's wear helped results.

The New York-based clothing company reported net income of $80.4 million, or 78 cents a share, for the second quarter ended Oct. 2, compared with $54 million, or 54 cents a share, a year ago.

The results beat the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson First Call for second-quarter earnings of 73 cents a share.

Revenue in the quarter rose 25 percent to $883.7 million.

Revenue growth was aided by "the women's Lauren line, the addition of our children's wear business as well as gains on our European wholesale business," company spokeswoman Nancy Murray said during a conference call with analysts Wednesday.

Retail sales grew 7 percent to $319.0 million, while sales at stores open at least a year, also known as same-store sales, rose 4 percent for the quarter.

The company also repeated its outlook for fiscal 2005 earnings per share of $2.35 to $2.45. Analysts have been expecting $2.45 a share.

The company opened 11 new stores in the quarter, ending the period with 270, Murray said.

The wholesale business had a particularly strong second quarter, as revenue soared 49 percent to $502.6 million.

Operating income in that business more than tripled to $82 million, Murray said.

In morning trading, shares of Polo Ralph Lauren rose $1.01, or 2.7 percent, to $38.54 on the New York Stock Exchange.



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