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Destination Maternity key rev. figure rises in 2Q

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Destination Maternity said Thursday its revenue at stores open at least a year rose 1.6 percent and narrowed its fiscal second-quarter profit guidance to the top half of its previous range.

The metric is a key measure of a retailer's health, because it excludes the volatility from stores that recently opened or closed.

The maternity clothing company said its total sales for the quarter fell 2.1 percent to $134.9 million from $137.8 million. The company attributed the drop to the closure of all of its remaining leased departments within Babies "R'' Us stores in October, along with the closures of underperforming stores.

In addition, sales during the month of March were probably hurt by unseasonably cold weather in many parts of the country, the company said.

Despite the sales drop, Destination Maternity said it now expects its second-quarter profit to fall in the top half of its previously projected range of 38 cents to 44 cents per share, crediting tight management of its expenses.

Destination Maternity Corp. opened eight stores and closed 16 during the quarter. As of March 31, the company operated 613 stores, 1,262 leased department locations and 1,875 total retail locations.