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Abercrombie & Fitch profit beats on lower costs, higher holiday pricing

Kitco News

(Reuters) - Abercrombie & Fitch Co reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday and said it would resume share buybacks, as the apparel retailer cut costs and sold products at higher average prices during the holidays.

The company’s shares rose 5% as its recent investments in its digital platforms drove a 34% rise in online sales during the quarter, helping it combat a fall in mall traffic as the coronavirus crisis kept shoppers at home.

In a bid to rein in costs, the Ohio-based company closed 137 stores last year, tightened its inventory and reduced payroll expenses.

Excluding one-time items, the company reported a profit of $1.50 per share in the fourth quarter, compared with analysts’ average estimate of $1.22, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net sales fell 5% to $1.12 billion, in line with analysts’ average estimate, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Reporting by Aditi Sebastian; Editing by Devika Syamnath

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