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"Our third quarter sales confirm the direction of our business and the growing strength of our ‘FYE’ (For Your Entertainment) brand. We also benefited from improved product in several categories. With improved sales in September and stronger sales in October, we are very encouraged with our opportunity for strong financial results in the fourth quarter."
——Robert J. Higgins, Trans World Chairman/CEO

TRANS WORLD SALES UP A TICK

Comparable Store Sales Up 5%, Losses Down
Retail is slowly emerging from its funk… but don’t go out and celebrate just yet.

Trans World Entertainment Corporation today announced total sales of $268.5 million for its third quarter ended November 1, as compared to $251.2 million for the corresponding period last year. Comparable store sales increased 5%. Loss before extraordinary gain for the quarter was $8.1 million, or $0.22 per share, and net loss after extraordinary gain was $6.5 million, or $0.18 per share. The Company reported a net loss of $14.8 million, or $0.37 per share, for the comparable period in 2002.

The extraordinary gain, net of tax, of $1.6 million resulted from Trans World’s acquisition of Wherehouse Entertainment and CD World stores during the quarter. The gain represents the excess of the fair value of the net assets acquired over the purchase price.

TW Chairman/CEO Robert J. Higgins was ebullient, if not sanguine: "Our third quarter sales confirm the direction of our business and the growing strength of our ‘FYE’ (For Your Entertainment) brand. We also benefited from improved product in several categories. With improved sales in September and stronger sales in October, we are very encouraged with our opportunity for strong financial results in the fourth quarter."

Sales for the thirty-nine week period ended November 1, were $788.7 million, compared to $798.2 million for the same period last year. Loss before extraordinary gain for the thirty-nine week period was $16.1 million, or $0.42 per share, compared to a loss before cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle of $27.0 million, or $0.67 per share, in the comparable 2002 period. Net loss after the extraordinary gain for the thirty-nine week period was $14.5 million, or $0.38 per share.

Higgins has his sights set on a successful holiday season: "Trans World will focus on supporting the continuing flow of quality products with a strong merchandising and marketing program. The anticipated results of this program, along with the positive impact from our recently acquired stores will allow us to improve upon our earlier expectations for the fourth quarter and the year. If not, we’ll just acquire something else."

Trans World operates 950 retail stores in 47 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and e-commerce sites, www.fye.com and www.wherehouse.com as well as freestanding locations under the names Coconuts Music and Movies, Strawberries Music, Wherehouse, CD World, Spec's and Planet Music.

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