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Image: Express, Business Wire

Express posts Q1 comparable sales increase of 5 percent

By Prachi Singh

3 Jun 2021

Consolidated net sales at Express Inc., increased 64 percent to 345.8 million dollars from the first quarter of 2020, with consolidated comparable sales up 5 percent. The company said, comparable retail sales, which include Express stores and ecommerce, increased 11 percent, while comparable outlet store sales decreased 19 percent versus the first quarter of 2020.

“First quarter results drove a 130 million dollars improvement in our operating cash flow,” said Tim Baxter, the company’s chief executive officer, adding, “We are well positioned for the post pandemic world, we are on track to achieve our goal of 1 billion dollars in ecommerce demand by 2024, and I expect that we will return to positive operating cash flow in the second quarter and positive EBITDA in the third quarter.”

Review of Express results

Gross margin for the quarter was 22.8 percent of net sales compared to negative 22 percent in last year’s first quarter. Operating loss was 40.6 million dollars compared to a loss of 145.3 million dollars in the first quarter of 2020.

Net loss was 45.7 million or a loss of 70 cents per diluted share, while on an adjusted basis, net loss was 35.7 million dollars or a loss of 55 cents per diluted share for the first quarter of 2021. EBITDA was a loss of 23.8 million dollars compared to a loss of 128.7 million dollars in the first quarter of 2020.

For 2021, the company expects sequential comparable sales improvement throughout the year, significant gross margin improvement for the year and positive EBITDA for the third quarter and the second half of the year.