(the "Company"), one of the world's leading specialty retailers of fashionable jewelry and accessories for young women, teens, tweens, and kids, today reported its financial results for the fiscal 2016 third quarter, which ended October 29, 2016. Third Quarter Results The Company reported consolidated net sales of $312.0 million for the fiscal 2016 third quarter, a decrease of $20.6 million, or 6.2% compared to the fiscal 2015 third quarter. The decrease was attributable to the effect of store closures, an unfavorable foreign currency translation effect of our non-U.S. net sales, a decrease in same store sales and decreased shipments to franchisees, partially offset by an increase in new concession store sales and new store sales. Net sales would have decreased 4.0% excluding the impact of foreign currency exchange rate changes. Consolidated same store sales decreased 1.6%, with North America same store sales decreasing 1.0% and Europe same store sales decreasing 2.5%. The Company computes same store sales on a local currency basis, which eliminates any impact from changes in foreign currency exchange rates. For the fiscal 2016 November month, our same store sale percentages for consolidated, North business loan bank America, and Europe were (0.8)%, (3.1)%, and 3.6%, respectively, and for the fiscal 2016 fourth quarter-to-date period through December 10, 2016, our same store sale percentages for consolidated, North America, and Europe were (4.8)%, (7.0)%, and (0.7)%, respectively. Consolidated gross profit percentage increased 50 basis points to 46.5% during the fiscal 2016 third quarter versus 46.0% for the prior year quarter. This increase in gross profit percentage consisted of a 50 basis point increase in merchandise margin and a 10 basis point decrease in buying and buying-related costs, partially offset by a 10 basis point increase in occupancy costs. The increase in merchandise margin percentage resulted primarily from lower freight costs and favorable foreign currency exchange rates, partially offset by sales mix. The increase in occupancy costs, as a percentage of net sales, resulted primarily from the deleveraging effect of a decrease in same store sales. Consolidated selling, general and administrative expenses decreased $5.5 million, or 4.6%, compared to the fiscal 2015 third quarter. As a percentage of net sales, selling, general and administrative expenses increased 60 basis points. Selling, general, and administrative expenses would have decreased $2.8 million excluding a favorable $2.7 million foreign currency translation effect. Besides the foreign currency translation effect, the remainder of the decrease was primarily due to lower compensation and related expenses, partially offset by increased concession store commission expense. Adjusted EBITDA in the fiscal 2016 third quarter was $37.0 million compared to $39.2 million last year. Adjusted EBITDA would have been $37.2 million excluding both unfavorable foreign currency translation effect and the foreign exchange effect on merchandise margin in the third quarter of 2016. The Company defines Adjusted EBITDA as earnings before income taxes, net interest expense, depreciation and amortization, loss (gain) on early debt extinguishments, and asset impairments.
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