West Marine reports 15.3 percent comparable store sales increase for January

WATSONVILLE, Calif. – West Marine, Inc. (Nasdaq:WMAR) reported yesterday that net sales for the four weeks ended Jan. 31, 2004 were $31.4 million, a 28.2-percent increase from net sales of $24.5 million for the four-week period a year ago. Comparable store net sales for January increased 15.3 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

Sales from 62 BoatU.S. stores acquired in Jan. 2003 from Boat America are included in total sales, but are not reflected in comparable store sales statistics.

“We are very pleased with our January comparable store sales increase, our sales strengthened throughout the month,” John Edmondson, CEO of West Marine, said.
“However, due to changes in our promotional calendar, we believe some sales may have shifted into January from February. In light of that, and because January 2003 sales represented only about 22 percent of total first quarter sales last year, we remain comfortable with our previous first quarter guidance of sales ranging from $126 million to $128 million and a loss per share ranging from ($0.19) to ($0.17).

“Electronics sales were very strong in January, increasing by 23 percent over last year in our comparable sales stores. Comparable store sales by region for January 2004 were as follows: Northeast 29.3 percent, Southeast 17.2 percent and West Coast 8.1 percent.”

West Marine’s January numbers followed a strong showing in December, when the company reported that net sales for the six weeks ended January 3 were $53.1 million, a 44.2-percent increase from net sales of $36.8 million for the five week period the year before. Comparable store net sales for December increased 2.3 percent, compared to the similar period in 1992, according to the company.

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