West 49 Inc. reports fourth quarter sales

    Toronto Stock Exchange Symbol: WXX

    BURLINGTON, ON, Feb. 7 /CNW/ - West 49 Inc. (TSX: WXX) (the "Company"),
Canada's leading action sport retailer, today reported its sales results for
the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008, ended January 26, 2008. Net sales for the
quarter increased 0.8% to $62.4 million from $61.9 million for the
fourth quarter of fiscal 2007.
    Comparable store sales for the quarter decreased 4.5% on a consolidated
basis and decreased 2.4% for the Company's core West 49 banner when compared
to the same quarter the year before. As a result of the strong appreciation in
the Canadian dollar, the Company's comparable store sales were negatively
impacted by cross border shopping, especially in the province of Ontario,
where a large number of its West 49 stores are located. Excluding Ontario, the
West 49 banner posted comparable store sales growth of 3.7% compared to fourth
quarter of fiscal 2007. For reference purposes, in the fourth quarter of the
prior year, the Company achieved strong comparable stores sales increases of
7.3% on a consolidated basis and 8.7% for the West 49 banner.
    At the end of the quarter the Company was operating 134 stores compared
to 125 stores at the end of the fourth quarter the year before.
    "With the majority of our sales already having been reported with our
Holiday sales figures, our top line results for the quarter finished in line
with our expectations," said Sam Baio, Chief Executive Officer of West 49 Inc.
"Nevertheless, we remain focused on improving our top line as we continue to
adjust to the current environment in which we operate. As an example, our
merchandise purchases for the coming spring and summer seasons will benefit
from our dollar's stronger purchasing power. In addition, we look to
strengthen our top line through continuing to relocate and expand targeted
West 49 stores and completing the transition at Off The Wall to its new
merchandising strategy."
    For the fiscal year, net sales increased 4.9% to $204.9 million from
$195.3 million last year. Consolidated comparable stores sales for the fiscal
year decreased 1.3% compared to fiscal 2007. Comparable store sales for the
West 49 banner increased 0.5% compared to fiscal 2007. For reference purposes,
in the prior fiscal year, the Company achieved comparable stores sales
increases of 5.9% on a consolidated basis and 5.4% for the West 49 banner.
    West 49 Inc.'s fourth quarter and fiscal year-end earnings are expected
to be reported in mid-April.

    About West 49 Inc.

    West 49 Inc. is a leading Canadian multi-banner specialty retailer of
apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment related to skateboarding,
snowboarding, surfing, BMX, motocross, and the music industry. The Company's
stores, which are primarily mall-based, carry a variety of high-performance,
premium brand name and private label products that fulfill the lifestyle needs
of identified target markets, primarily tweens and teens (ages 10 through 18).
As at January 26, 2008, the Company operated 134 stores in nine provinces,
under the banners West 49, Billabong, Off The Wall, Amnesia/Arsenic, D-Tox,
and Duke's Northshore, and an online retailer www.boardzone.com. The Company's
common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol WXX.
The Company has approximately 64 million shares outstanding.

    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 that, although considered reasonable by the
Company at the time of preparation, may prove to be incorrect. Readers are
cautioned that forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks,
uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or
achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance
or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking information.
Accordingly, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking
information. The Company includes in publicly available documents filed from
time to time with securities commissions and the Toronto Stock Exchange, a
thorough discussion of the risk factors that can cause anticipated outcomes to
differ from actual outcomes. Forward-looking information is provided as of the
date of this news release, and the Company assumes no obligation to update or
revise them to reflect new events or circumstances.

For further information:

For further information: Rhonda Allen, Director, Finance, West 49 Inc.,
(905) 336-5454 ext. 224, E-mail: ir@west49.com; Trevor Heisler, Investor
Relations, The Equicom Group Inc., (416) 815-0700 ext. 270, E-mail:

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