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WET SEAL ANNOUNCES THIRD QUARTER RESULTS

 WET SEAL ANNOUNCES THIRD QUARTER RESULTS
 IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The Wet Seal Inc.


(NASDAQ: WTSLA) announced that earnings for the third quarter, the 13 weeks ended Nov. 2, 1991, totaled $1,207,000 ($.10 per share), down from $2,627,000 ($.22 per share) in the comparable quarter last year, on sales of $33,351,000, up from $30,462,000 in the third quarter of 1990.
 The results reflect a 9.5 percent increase in sales and a 54.1 percent decrease in earnings for the third quarter.
 For the 39 weeks ended Nov. 2, 1991, earnings were $2,951,000 ($.25 per share) as compared to $6,018,000 ($.56 per share) in the first three quarters of 1990. Sales for the 39 weeks were $84,644,000, up from sales of $78,971,000 in the first three quarters of the previous year.
 The women's fashion retailer announced that comparable store sales, excluding remodeled stores, decreased 12.2 percent for the third quarter. During last year's third quarter, comparable store sales increased 3 percent.
 For the 39 weeks ended Nov. 2, 1991, comparable store sales decreased 14.6 percent as compared to an increase of 7.9 percent for the same period last year.
 "Obviously we're very disappointed with our third quarter results," said Ken Chilvers, president. "Like most businesses, we're really feeling the effects of the recession, particularly in California where we have more than 70 percent of our stores.
 "Although the consensus of opinion is somewhat pessimistic about retail sales for the holiday season, we are more optimistic than most. Our newly arriving merchandise is timely, our inventories are in superb shape and our expenses are firmly under control."
 Chilvers also said that the company's "cash position remains strong and our plan to open at least 20 new stores next year remains intact."
 Wet Seal opened a total of 13 stores during 1991, including eight in the third quarter. The company ended the third quarter with 105 stores in operation, compared to 87 at the end of the same period in 1990. Eight additional stores are scheduled to open during the remainder of 1991.
 The Wet Seal Inc., headquartered in Irvine, is a specialty retailer of moderately priced, fashionable causal apparel for women. It currently operates stores in California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, Florida and Texas.
 THE WET SEAL INC.
 Selected Financial Data
 (Unaudited)
 (In thousands, except per share data)
 13 39
 Weeks Ended Weeks Ended
 Nov. 2, Nov. 3, Nov. 2, Nov. 3,
 1991 1990 1991 1990
 Sales $33,351 $30,462 $84,644 $78,971
 Cost of sales
 (including buying,
 distribution, and
 occupancy costs) 25,076 20,750 63,709 53,985
 Gross margin 8,275 9,712 20,935 24,986
 Selling, general
 and administrative 6,506 5,675 16,750 14,708
 Interest (income)
 expense, net (247) (364) (746) 220
 Total 6,259 5,311 16,004 14,928
 Income before prov.
 for income taxes 2,016 4,401 4,931 10,058
 Provision for
 income taxes 809 1,774 1,980 4,040
 Net income $1,207 $2,627 $2,951 $6,018
 Earnings per share $0.10 $0.22 $0.25 $0.56
 Weighted average
 number of
 shares O/S 12,216,850 12,216,850 12,216,850 10,672,784
 THE WET SEAL INC.
 Selected Operating Data
 Stores opened at end
 of period 105 87
 Average sales per
 square foot $88.79 $111.72 $246.19 $315.06
 Average sales
 per store 325,325 359,812 861,204 991,966
 Comparable store
 sales increase
 excluding remodeled
 stores -12.19 pct. 2.99 pct. -14.60 pct. 7.91 pct.
 Comparable store
 sales increase
 including remodeled
 stores -11.74 pct. 10.31 pct. -14.14 pct. 14.01 pct.
 Balance Sheet Data:
 Working capital $11,838,000 $16,819,000
 Inventory 8,791,000 10,878,000
 Total assets 64,489,000 59,491,000
 Long-term debt --- 480,000
 Total stockholders'
 equity $49,345,000 $45,242,000
 -0- 11/25/91
 /CONTACT: Alan Weinstein or E. Lesly Martin of The Wet Seal, 714-583-9029/
 (WTSLA) CO: The Wet Seal Inc. ST: California IN: REA SU: ERN


CH-KJ -- LA002 -- 6694 11/25/91 09:03 EST
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Date:Nov 25, 1991
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