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Lululemon stretches profits and sales

Yoga-inspired retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc. warned Thursday that it expects slower sales growth in the final three months of this year.

In its outlook, the company (TSX:LLL) projects comparable-store sales growth in the high single digits in the fourth quarter, which began Oct. 29. That's down from 18 per cent comparable-store sales growth in the third quarter.

The restrained outlook came as Lululemon reported a $57.3-million profit in its latest quarter as it grew revenue by 37 per cent.

Vancouver-based Lululemon said it earned 39 cents per diluted share in the third quarter, up from $38.8 million or 27 cents per diluted share a year ago. Revenue amounted to $316.5 million for the quarter ended Oct. 28, up from $230.2 million.

"I am very proud of the team for achieving yet another strong quarter coming in ahead of our expectations," Lululemon chief executive Christine Day said in a statement.

"Our stellar results were driven by first-rate execution, strong community engagement, beautiful product and continued strength in our e-commerce business."

During the third quarter, Lululemon opened 12 stores to bring its total to 201 locations.

Last month, Lululemon settled a patent infringement case against Calvin Klein and its manufacturer that claimed they copied a specific overlapping style of waistband. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Lululemon said the lawsuit will be dismissed as a result.

Shares in Lululemon were up $2.13 at $70.17 in trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.



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