Francesca's Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:FRAN) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript

Jun 05, 2018 • 08:30 am ET


Francesca's Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:FRAN) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript


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Good day, and welcome to the Francesca's Holdings Corporation First Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call. Today's call is being recorded.

At this time, I'd like to turn the call over to Kelly Dilts. Please go ahead.

Kelly Dilts

Thanks, Liam and good morning, everyone. We appreciate your participation this morning in Francesca's first quarter fiscal year 2018 conference call. Earlier this morning, we issued a press release outlining the financial and operating results for the first quarter ended May 5, 2018.

Please note, the following discussion includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Security Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this discussion that is activities, events or developments that the company expect, believe, target or anticipate, will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. The company's actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of certain risk or other factors. Including those risk factors set forth in the company's Form 10-K and quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

All such statements speak only as of the date made and except as required by law, the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

As usual, a replay of today's conference call will be posted on our corporate website. We will begin today's call with comments from our President and CEO, Steve Lawrence. Steve?

Steve Lawrence

Thanks Kelly. Good morning everyone and welcome to our first quarter earnings call. During our call today, Kelly and I will give you some color around our first quarter performance, along with how we see second quarter playing out.

Our top and bottom line results came in largely as expected. Overall, we saw sequential improvement in our comp performance, particularly in our non-apparel categories as our merchandizing initiatives began to take hold. While our comparable sales came in slightly below guidance, we saw trends improve across all categories as it got deeper into the quarter. Through the first 4 weeks of Q2, we've seen sales declines moderate from the results of Q1 illustrating an improving response to our assortments.

Diving deeper into our first quarter results. Sales came in at $100 million, which was at the low end of our guidance where comparable store sales declined 16%, which was slightly outside of our guidance range of negative 13% to negative 15%. We met our total sales expectation while slightly missing on a comp sales basis as a result of the strength of the new boutiques that we've opened up over the past couple of quarters. We're pleased to see that our refined strategy of focusing primarily on A-rated centers as well as raising our internal profitability hurdle rates has elevated the performance in our new stores.

In addition, the 15 boutiques we refreshed during the quarter are seeing a strong sales lift post remodel when you compare them against district,