Toys 'R' Us reported results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended February 2, 2008. The company's fourth quarter reporting period for fiscal 2007 includes thirteen weeks of operating results compared to fourteen weeks in fiscal 2006, which ended February 3, 2007. The company's annual reporting period for fiscal 2007 includes fifty-two weeks of operating results compared to fifty-three weeks in fiscal 2006.
For the fourth quarter ended February 2, 2008, the company reported a 39.3% increase in net earnings to $312 million, up from $224 million for the fourth quarter ended February 3, 2007. Operating earnings for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007 increased 17.5% to $671 million from $571 million in the fourth quarter last year, while net sales reached $5.827 billion for the 2007 fourth quarter, up 2.6% from $5.679 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006.
For the year ended February 2, 2008, the company reported a 40.4% increase in net earnings to $153 million, up from $109 million for the year ended February 3, 2007. Operating earnings in fiscal 2007 rose 7.2% to $696 million from $649 million a year ago, while net sales increased 5.7% to $13.794 billion from $13.050 billion in fiscal 2006.
Total debt at the end of fiscal 2007 declined by $65 million from the prior year, while total cash and short-term investments increased by $154 million. Total long-term debt outstanding at the end of the 2007 fiscal year (including current portion) was $5.874 billion, an increase of $86 million from the prior fiscal year. The increase primarily relates to refinancing $137 million of short-term borrowings as long-term debt subsequent to year-end.
We are very pleased with the continued progress we made in 2007 to improve company performance across all segments of our business," said Jerry Storch, Chairman and CEO, Toys 'R' Us, Inc. "Better gross margins, improved comparable store sales and the positive impact of new store openings all contributed to higher net earnings for both the fourth quarter and the year. These results are especially gratifying given the difficult economic climate and the unique challenges experienced by the toy industry during the past year.""As we look ahead, we will continue to leverage our toy and baby products authority positions, deliver a differentiated shopping experience and provide great value for our customers. While we know we still have much work to do, we are proud of the significant advancements we've made toward positioning Toys 'R' Us, Inc. for growth over the long-term," Mr. Storch concluded.