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THE WET SEAL INC. REPORTS THIRD QUARTER RESULTS

 IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Women's apparel retailer The Wet Seal Inc. (NASDAQ: WTSLA) announced a net loss of $471,000 or $.04 per share for the 13-week period ended Oct. 30, 1993, compared to net earnings of $1,674,000 or $.14 per share during the third quarter of 1992.
 For the 39-week period ended Oct. 30, 1993, the company posted a net loss of $772,000 or $.06 per share, as compared to net earnings of $3,974,000 or $.33 per share in the comparable period last year.
 Sales during the third quarter of fiscal 1993 totaled $36,855,000, down from sales of $41,615,000 during the same period the previous year. Comparable store sales, excluding remodeled stores, decreased 17 percent.
 For the 39-week period ended Oct. 30, 1993, sales were $105,587,000, as compared to sales of $114,263,000 for the same period last year. Same store sales for the nine months decreased 16 percent.
 "Junior apparel customers became even more cautious in the their spending habits in the third quarter, particularly in California where the company achieved over 60 percent of its sales," said Kathy Bronstein, president and chief executive officer.
 "We have increased our level of promotional activities in the fourth quarter, and we are currently beginning to see some improvement in sales trending," she added.
 Bronstein said that despite the economic environment, Wet Seals' financial position is strong, with cash and cash equivalents of more than $17 million.
 Wet Seal continues its store expansion program, which is targeting areas outside of California. The fashion retailer, which currently has 131 locations nationwide, has opened 10 new stores and closed four during 1993.
 It recently opened its first New York location, a 4,851-square-foot store in the newly renovated Staten Island Mall. A new store in New Orleans' Esplanade Mall just opened and became Wet Seal's second location in Louisiana.
 The Wet Seal Inc., headquartered in Irvine, is a specialty retailer of moderately priced fashionable apparel for women. Stores currently are located in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Florida, Texas, Washington, Georgia, Louisiana and New York.
 THE WET SEAL INC.
 Selected Financial Data
 (Unaudited)
 13 Weeks Ended 39 Weeks Ended
 Oct. 30, Oct. 31, Oct. 30, Oct. 31,
 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Statements of
 Income:
 Sales $36,855,000 $41,615,000 $105,587,000 $114,263,000
 Cost of sales
 (including buying,
 distribution,
 and occupancy
 costs) 29,540,000 30,901,000 84,195,000 84,816,000
 Gross margin 7,315,000 10,714,000 21,392,000 29,447,000
 Selling,
 general and
 administrative 8,259,000 8,091,000 23,106,000 23,304,000
 Interest income,
 net (162,000) (167,000) (436,000) (491,000)
 Net operating
 expenses 8,097,000 7,924,000 22,670,000 22,813,000
 Income before
 provision
 for income taxes (782,000) 2,790,000 (1,278,000) 6,634,000
 Provision for
 income taxes (311,000) 1,116,000 (506,000) 2,660,000
 Net income ($471,000) $1,674,000 ($772,000) $3,974,000
 Net income per
 common share ($0.04) $0.14 ($0.06) $0.33
 Weighted average
 number of
 shares o/s 12,227,763 12,221,152 12,227,763 12,221,152
 Selected Operating Data:
 Stores opened at end
 of period 129 122
 Average sales per
 square foot $70 $88 $204 $254
 Average sales
 per store 286,000 348,000 828,000 987,000
 Comparable store
 sales decrease
 excluding remodeled
 stores -17.1 pct. 1.4 pct. -16.3 pct. 6.6 pct.
 Balance Sheet Data:
 Working capital $18,433,000 $16,806,000
 Inventory 13,370,000 12,660,000
 Total assets 71,225,000 73,241,000
 Long-term debt --- ---
 Total stockholders'
 equity $53,313,000 $54,445,000
 -0- 11/18/93
 /CONTACT: Ann Kim, Controller, or E. Lesly Martin, Marketing 714-583-9029/
 (WTSLA)


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

JB-EH -- LA002 -- 6170 11/18/93 15:42 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 18, 1993
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