Gap's 1Q revenue suffers under strong dollar, uneven brand performance

Gap Inc. says the strong dollar is hurting its revenue.

The retailer behind the Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic brands said Monday that its first-quarter revenue fell 3 per cent to $3.66 billion. It estimates the translation of foreign sales into U.S. dollars pushed this figure down by about $90 million, driven largely by the weakening Japanese yen and Canadian dollar. On a constant currency basis, its revenue would have fallen 1 per cent.

The quarter’s revenue missed market forecasts. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were anticipating $3.76 billion for the period.

Gap is one of many companies struggling with the impact of the strong dollar as sales in foreign currencies amount to less once they are translated back into U.S. dollars. The San Francisco-based company is also is struggling with uneven performance among its brands.

The company said that revenue from its stores open at least a year, considered a key indicator of performance because it strips away the impact of recently opened or closed sites, fell 4 per cent overall for the quarter. That includes an 8 per cent drop at Banana Republic, 10 per cent drop at Gap and a 3 per cent increase at Old Navy.

Gap says it now expects earnings between 55 and 56 cents per share with a 2 cent benefit tied to tax matters. Analysts anticipated 54 cents.

The retailer will report its full first-quarter results next week.

Gap also said Monday that its revenue from established stores fell 12 per cent for April, versus a 9 per cent increase last year. This includes a 15 per cent drop at Gap and Banana Republic and 6 per cent decline at Old Navy.

Shares rose 26 cents to close at $39.87 in regular market trading and were unchanged in after-hours trading following the announcement.