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Jo-Ann Stores announces record fourth quarter

Hudson, Ohio – Craft and fabric retailer Jo-Ann Stores reported a record fourth-quarter performance.

“We exceeded expectations for sales growth. These are the best financial results in the history of the company” said Darrell Webb, chairman and chief executive officer during yesterday’s earnings conference call.

Net income for the quarter was $37.1 million, up from $20.4 million a year ago. Net income for the full fiscal year ended Jan, 30, 2010, was $66.6 million, or $2.51 per diluted share, compared with net income of $21.9 million, or $0.86 per diluted share, in the prior year.

Net sales for the fourth quarter increased 5.3% to $602.2 million from $571.9 million for the same period last year. Same-store sales increased 4.4% compared with a 2.9% same-store sales decrease for the fourth quarter last year.

Webb added, "During fiscal year 2010, the Jo-Ann team effectively executed our strategic objectives. These included: revitalizing our store base, expanding our gross margin rate, capitalizing on changes in the competitive environment, and leveraging our new systems capabilities.”

The company is also picking up business from other retailers and noted that 560 Wal-Mart units stopped selling fabric last year.

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