True Religion Apparel, a U.S based jeans and sportswear brand, has announced the results of the first quarter 2012. Total net sales for this period increased 13.9% to $106.8 million. Net sales for the company’s U.S. consumer direct segment, which includes the company’s retail stores and e-commerce business, increased 22.6% to $65.5 million and accounted for 61.3% of the company’s total net sales for the quarter. First quarter same-store sales for the 90 stores open at least 12 full months and e-commerce increased 13.3%. Diluted Earnings Per Share (EPS) were $0.41 as compared to $0.36 in Q1 2011.
The company’s declared first quarter results were ahead of expectations, primarily due to strong same-store sales at its U.S. branded retail stores and new stores opened in the U.S., coupled with strict expense control. Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses increased 12.6% to $51.7 million from $45.9 million in the prior year quarter. Much of the growth in SG&A expenses was driven by the costs associated with operating 13 additional U.S. stores and ten additional international stores in 2012 as compared to the same period in 2011.
Net sales for the international segment totaled $19.1 million, a 3.6% increase as compared to the prior year quarter. This growth was primarily driven by an increase in retail sales in the U.K. and Canada. Gross profit increased 13.4% to $68.9 million while the gross margin rate decreased 30 basis points to 64.5%, primarily due to targeted competitive pricing on selected key styles. As a percentage of net sales, SG&A expenses decreased to 48.4% from 48.9% in the same quarter a year ago due to the leveraging of fixed costs from the 13.9% consolidated net sales increase.
The company ended the first quarter with 109 retail stores in the United States, compared to 96 as of March 31, 2011. The company opened two international stores in the first quarter of 2012, ending with 18 international retail stores, compared to eight as of March 31, 2011.
True Religion Apparel is a growing, design-based jeans and jeans-related sportswear brand. The company designs, manufactures and markets True Religion Apparel products, including its premium True Religion brand Jeans. As of March 31, 2012, the company owned and operated 109 retail stores in the United States, five in the U.K, four in Germany, four in Canada, four in Japan and one in the Netherlands.