West Marine reports 13.8 percent sales increase

WATSONVILLE, Calif. – Net sales for West Marine, Inc., over the four weeks ended Feb. 28, 2004, were $35.5 million, a 14-percent increase from net sales of $31.1 million for the four-week period a year ago, the company said in a statement this morning.

Comparable store net sales for February increased 13.8 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Sales from 62 BoatU.S. stores acquired in January 2003 are included in total sales, but will not be reflected in comparable store sales statistics until March 2004, West Marine reported.

Net sales for the eight weeks ended Feb. 28, were $66.8 million, an increase of 20.3 percent from net sales of $55.6 million for the same period a year ago. Comparable store net sales for the latest eight weeks increased 14.5 percent compared to the same period a year ago, the company said.

“We are very pleased with our February results, West Marine has now posted eight consecutive months of positive comparable store sales,” John Edmondson, CEO of West Marine, said, “Looking to March, we currently expect comparable store sales to be in the mid- to upper- single digit range for the month, and in the upper-single to lower-double digit range for the quarter. For now, we are comfortable with our prior guidance for the first quarter of a loss per share ranging from ($0.19) to ($0.17).

“Electronics sales were strong in February, increasing by 18.8 percent over last year in our comparable sales stores. Comparable store sales by region for February 2004 were as follows: Northeast 50.8 percent, Southeast 4.4 percent and West Coast 6.6 percent. Sales improved in the Northeast generally due to better weather this year and specifically due to the closure of 85 stores for several days last year during inclement weather.”

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