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Gap international sales slump slows

Gap's international sales slump slowed in the fourth quarter of the year, down 1% like-for-like, compared to a 6% drop for the same period last year.

International net sales, which are mostly from the company's UK operation, were $510 million (£257.2m) up from $497m (£250.6m).

Group fourth quarter profits for the 13 weeks to February 2 were up 21% to $265m (£133.6m) compared to $219m (£110.4m), despite a drop in sales, thanks to efforts to cut costs.

Fourth quarter like-for-like sales were down 3% compared with a drop of 7% in the previous quarter. Net sales for the group during the quarter were $4.7 billion (£2.37bn), down from $4.9bn (£2.47bn) for the 14 weeks to February 3 2007.

Net sales for the 52 weeks ended February 2 were $15.8bn (£7.97bn), compared to $15.9bn (£8.02bn) for the 53 weeks to February 3, which represents a 4% like-for-like drop.

Chairman and chief executive Glenn Murphy said: "In 2007, the company made the business decisions and changes necessary to deliver improved earnings for our shareholders. While we're aware of the challenging economic environment, our leadership team is committed to delivering the right product to our customers while we bring a sharp operational discipline to our business priorities. We'll work tirelessly to reconnect with customers while we continue to improve our earnings results."

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