Gap’s net sales increased 6 percent to $3.5 billion for the first quarter, which ended April 28, 2012, compared with $3.3 billion for the first quarter last year. The company’s comparable sales increased 4 percent. Its net income was $233 million flat compared with the first quarter last year. The diluted earnings per share increased 18 percent to $0.47 compared with $0.40 last year.
Given the first quarter performance, the company has raised its estimate for diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $1.78 to $1.83 in fiscal year 2012, representing a 14 percent to 17 percent increase over fiscal year 2011 with diluted earnings per share of $1.56. Gap in North America, Banana Republic, and Old Navy each delivered positive comparable sales for the quarter. Total net sales for the Gap direct division increased 18 percent to $410 million compared with $348 million last year.
Net sales for regions outside of North America (including online and franchise) were $511 million compared with $454 million last year, an increase of 13 percent. Franchise net sales increased 30 percent compared with last year, and the company entered three new markets during the quarter. The company continued to expand its store base in China, opening 7 new stores during the first quarter.
The company’s first quarter comparable sales were up 4 percent compared with a 3 percent decrease in the first quarter last year. Comparable sales for the first quarter of fiscal year 2012 in North America were positive 5 percent versus negative 3 percent last year. Banana Republic North America was positive 5 percent versus negative 1 percent last year. Old Navy North America was positive 4 percent versus negative 2 percent last year. International figures were negative 4 percent versus negative 6 percent last year.
Gap based in San Francisco is a global specialty retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, children, and babies under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, and Athleta brands. The products are available for purchase in over 90 countries worldwide through about 3,000 company-operated stores, about 200 franchise stores, and e-commerce sites.