Feb 27 Gap Inc on Thursday reported a
higher-than-expected holiday quarter profit, helped by January
sales gains, but the fashion company said it expected
unfavorable currency exchange rates will hit its full-year
Gap, which also operates the Old Navy and Banana Republic
chains in addition to its eponymous stores, expects a profit of
$2.90 to $2.95 per share this fiscal year, below analyst
forecasts for $3.02, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company said weaker foreign currencies would cut about 5
percentage points from its earnings per share growth rate.
For the fourth quarter, which included the key holiday
season, Gap reported a profit of $307 million, or 68 cents per
share, two cents better than expected. In the same quarter last
year, Gap's profit was $351 million, or 73 cents.
Analysts, on average, had expected a quarterly profit of 66
cents per share.
Gap was one of few retailers to report a rise in comparable
sales in January, when cold weather and low confidence led U.S.
consumers to curb spending. As previously reported, Gap's
comparable sales, consisting of e-commerce and sales at stores
open at least a year, rose 1 percent last month.
Gap also said it was opening its first five Old Navy stores
in China this fiscal year.