West 49 Inc.

March 01, 2005 17:09 ET

West 49 Chain Sales Rise 40% In Stub Period To Jan. 29, 2005


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: WEST 49 INC.

TSX SYMBOL: WXX

MARCH 1, 2005 - 17:09 ET

West 49 Chain Sales Rise 40% In Stub Period To Jan.
29, 2005

BURLINGTON, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 1, 2005) - Chain sales of West
49 (TSX:WXX) were $21.8 million for the 60-day period from the listing
of the company under WXX on the Toronto Stock Exchange on December 1,
2004 to its fiscal yearend on January 29, 2005.

This represents an increase of 40% over chain sales in the same period a
year earlier. The company operated 58 stores at January 29 compared to
50 stores a year earlier. On a comparable store basis, chain sales
increased 19.6% in the stub period compared to the same period a year
earlier.

West 49 is releasing interim sales results to provide investors with an
indication of its performance during the important Christmas and
post-Christmas selling seasons. The company, which has changed its
yearend to the last Saturday in January (January 29 in 2005) from
February 28, will report its audited results for the stub period, as
planned, in mid-April.

"The percentage increase for comparable store sales for the month of
December was in the high single digits, while January's numbers,
supported by our "Killer" sale clearance event, were even stronger,"
said Salvatore Baio, Chief Executive Officer. "We are also pleased to
have opened our 59th store in Oakville, Ontario at the Oakville Place
shopping mall."

For the rolling 12-month period ended January 29, 2005, sales of the
West 49 chain increased 19.8% to $87.0 million compared to the previous
12-month period. The most recent period included 52 weeks, versus 53 in
the previous year. On a 52-week adjusted basis, the sales increase was
20.9%. The increase in comparable store sales, on a 52-week adjusted
basis, was 9.8%.

The formal financial statements will only include the financial results
of the West 49 chain for the two months ended January 29, 2005 and nine
months of operations of the predecessor corporation (J.U.M. Capital
Inc.). These will be compared to the 12 months results ended February
2004 of the predecessor corporation.

West 49 Inc. is a specialty retailer of apparel, footwear and
accessories, with an emphasis on skateboarding, snowboarding and
surfing. The Company targets "Generation Y" customers (ages 10 through
18) and offers its own West 49™ and Redstar™ labels as well as
brand name products. West 49 operates 59 stores in seven provinces. Its
shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol WXX.

Forward-looking statements

Information in this news release that is not current or historical
factual information may constitute forward-looking information. Implicit
in this information are assumptions which, although considered
reasonable by West 49 at the time of preparation, may prove to be
incorrect. Readers are cautioned that actual results are subject to a
number of risks and uncertainties and could differ materially from what
is currently expected.

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Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    West 49 Inc.
    Pete Pigott
    CFO and COO
    (905) 336-5454 x 261
    www.west49.com