REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio -- Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF) today reported that earnings per share on a fully diluted basis for the fourth fiscal quarter ended February 3, 2001 rose 4% to $.76 versus $.73 for the comparable period last year. Earnings per share on a fully diluted basis increased 12% for fiscal 2000 to $1.55 versus $1.39 for fiscal 1999.

Net sales for the fourteen weeks ended February 3, 2001 increased 21% to $439.4 million from $363.7 million for the thirteen weeks ended January 29, 2000. Comparable store sales decreased 9% in the quarter versus a 3% increase for fiscal 1999.

Net income for the quarter increased 1% to $77.2 million compared to net income of $76.7 million for last year. Year-to-date net sales increased 20% to $1.24 billion from $1.03 billion last year. Comparable store sales for the year decreased 7% versus a 10% increase last year. Net income, year-to-date, increased 6% to $158.1 million from an adjusted $149.6 million last year.

Mike Jeffries, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, "I'm very pleased that we were able to continue to improve our earnings despite a very difficult sales environment. The entire organization responded to the challenge and our tight control of expenses allowed us to protect the bottom line. I'm optimistic about our spring merchandise assortment. However, with the economic environment still uncertain we are taking a very cautious approach to the business in 2001."

A lifestyle brand, Abercrombie & Fitch operated a total of 354 stores at the end of fiscal 2000, including 84 abercrombie stores and five Hollister Co. stores.