West Marine registers $9.4 million loss

WATSONVILLE, Calif. – West Marine, Inc. (Nasdaq: WMAR) released its unaudited operating results for the first quarter of 2006, which showed a net loss of $9.4 million. The 13 weeks ended April 1, 2006, showed an increased loss of 70 percent from the $5.5 million loss of the same period a year ago.

The company says that the increased net loss is largely due to additional operating costs for the 28 new stores that it opened during the last half of the 2005 and the first quarter of 2006. Typically, the company stated, its new stores do not generate positive earnings contribution before their first full boating season.

Additionally, West Marine’s report said, these first quarter results reflect investments in store selling initiatives and the final portion of costs related to previously announced discontinued software development projects.

“First quarter results,” explained Peter Harris, West Marine’s chief executive officer, “are both in line with our expectations and consistent with our focus on investing in long-term initiatives aimed at achieving significant and sustainable growth in shareholder value.”

Net sales for the 13 weeks ended April 1, 2006, were $132.6 million, compared to net sales of $125.3 million for the same period a year ago. Comparable store sales increased 4.8 percent over the period.

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