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THE WET SEAL INC. REPORTS FIRST QUARTER '93 RESULTS

 IRVINE, Calif., May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Women's fashion retailer The Wet Seal Inc. (NASDAQ: WTSLA) announced that earnings for the 13 weeks ended May 1, 1993, were $71,000 ($.01 per share) compared to earnings of $854,000 ($.07 per share) during the first quarter of 1992.
 Wet Seal also reported that sales for the first quarter of fiscal 1993 totaled $33,073,000, down 2.7 percent from sales of $33,981,000 during the same period last year.
 "A number of factors have affected the momentum of consumer spending, these include the sluggish California economy that continues to adversely affect retail sales where we have the majority of our stores," said Kathy Bronstein, president of the apparel chain. "In addition, there were smaller than expected income tax refunds due to under witholding and the uncertainty of President Clinton's economic recovery plan."
 The retailer also reported that comparable store sales, excluding remodeled stores, declined 14.0 percent for the first quarter.
 Wet Seal closed two California locations and opened five new stores during the first quarter, including its first store in Atlanta and a new updated store design that debuted in Florida's Town Center at Boca Raton. Wet Seal will open another five stores by the end of fiscal 1993, including its first locations in Louisiana and Oregon.
 The Wet Seal Inc., headquartered in Irvine, is a specialty retailer of moderately priced fashionable apparel for women. It currently operates 128 stores throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Florida, Texas, Washington and Georgia.
 THE WET SEAL INC.
 Selected Financial Data
 (Unaudited)
 13 Weeks Ended
 May 1, May 2,
 1993 1992
 Sales $33,073,000 $33,981,000
 Cost of sales
 (including buying,
 distribution, and
 occupancy costs) 25,870,000 25,492,000
 Gross margin 7,203,000 8,489,000
 Selling, general
 and administrative 7,227,000 7,209,000
 Interest (income) expense, net (146,000) (147,000)
 Total 7,081,000 7,062,000
 Income before provision
 for income taxes 122,000 1,427,000
 Provision for income taxes 51,000 573,000
 Net income $71,000 $854,000
 Earnings per share $0.01 $0.07
 Weighted average
 number of shares
 outstanding 12,227,763 12,221,152
 Selected Operating Data:
 Stores opened at end
 of period 128 115
 Average sales per
 square foot $65 $79
 Average sales
 per store 262,000 302,000
 Comparable store
 sales decrease excluding
 remodeled stores -14.0 pct. 11.1 pct.
 Balance Sheet Data:
 Working capital 17,725,000 14,381,000
 Inventory 12,689,000 11,489,000
 Total assets 74,785,000 69,904,000
 Long-term debt 0 0
 Total stockholders' equity 54,156,000 51,324,000
 -0- 5/20/93
 /CONTACT: Alan Weinstein, CFO, or E. Lesly Martin, director of Marketing of The Wet Seal, 714-583-9029/
 (WTSLA)


CO: The Wet Seal Inc. ST: California IN: REA SU: ERN

EH-MS -- LA005 -- 0777 05/20/93 12:48 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 20, 1993
Words:486
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