Urban Outfitters earnings miss by a penny

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Urban Outfitters, the company behind Free People, Anthropologie and its eponymous brand stores, said on Tuesday that its fourth-quarter earnings missed by one cent.

The Philadelphia-based company said profits slid to $64.3m, or 55 cents a share, in the three months ended in January, compared with $72.9m, or 61 cents a share, in the year ago period. That was a penny shy of analysts’ estimates.

Net sales rose 2 per cent from a year ago to a record $1.03bn, broadly in line with estimates. Comparable retail segment sales were flat, with gains at Urban Outfitters and Free People offsetting a 2.9 per cent decline at Anthropologie.

The company, which opened two new restaurants and acquired six Vetri Family restaurants last year, said sales at its food and beverage division climbed to $6m in the fourth quarter and $22.7m for the full year.

The push into the casual dining sphere comes as Urban and other clothing retailers have struggled to grow during a challenging time for the industry, which faces increased competition from e-commerce companies like Amazon and fast-fashion retailers like Zara and H&M that mimic runway looks for cheap.

Shares in the company, which have declined nearly 11 per cent so far this year, perked up in extended trading, rising 2 per cent to $25.90.

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