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Gap Earnings Climb 23 Percent

May 11, 2000

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Gap Inc.’s first-quarter earnings rose 23 percent from a year ago, boosted by strong sales at its new stores.

The San Francisco-based retailer reported Thursday that it earned $235.4 million, or 27 cents a share, in the quarter ended April 29, compared with $202.4 million, or 22 cents a share, a year ago.

Total sales were $2.73 billion, up from $2.27 billion a year ago. Sales at stores open at least a year, an industry gauge of performance, fell 2 percent.

The Gap warned last week that its profits would fall slightly below Wall Street analysts’ estimates due to the cooler-than-normal weather in April, which dampened demand for spring clothing.

The Gap’s results released on Thursday were in line with analysts’ revised expectations. The retailer’s stock rose $1.18 3/4 to $34.31 1/4 in late morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Much of the Gap’s growth during the quarter came from its new stores. Over the last year, it has added more than 570 stores across all of its brands, which include Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy.

Its stores open at least a year saw some decline in sales growth, especially its Gap stores where sales are down sharply from a year ago.

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