Ann Taylor Q4 profit jumps; changing corporate name to Ann Inc.

NEW YORK — Ann Taylor Stores Corp. On Friday posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit on improved sales. The company, which said it will change its corporate name to Ann Inc. to better reflect its multichannel focus, also forecast strong first-quarter sales.

“Today, our company is far more than a traditional 'store-based' retailer,” stated Kay Krill, president and CEO. “We have two distinct brands — Ann Taylor and Loft — each of which operates across three channels and enables us to reach our client whether she is making her purchases at our stores, online or at our factory outlet locations,”

The retailer said its quarterly profit increased to $8 million from $41,000, or break even, in the year-earlier period.

Sales in the quarter ended Jan. 29 rose to $515.3 million from $469.1 million. Same-store sales were up 11%, including a 21% jump at the Ann Taylor unit.