Trans World Entertainment posted net income of $36.9 million, or 99 cents per diluted share, on sales of $542 million for the quarter ended Jan. 31. That represents a vast improvement from the loss of

Trans World Entertainment posted net income of $36.9 million, or 99 cents per diluted share, on sales of $542 million for the quarter ended Jan. 31. That represents a vast improvement from the loss of $4.8 million, or 12 cents per diluted share, the company reported last year in the corresponding period, when sales were $483.7 million. The 12% increase in revenue is attributed to a 4% comparable-store gain and the acquisition of about 100 Wherehouse and CD World stores.

Trans World also announced that it would cease handling the back-room and hosting functions of its online store, FYE.com, and is turning that over to BuyServices, a unit of Buy.com.

"Hosting and aspects of content management will be handled by BuyServices," says Trans World executive VP/CFO John Sullivan. Trans World staffers will continue to oversee the merchandising of the store, as well as fulfillment to consumers. "The move won't change the look and feel of functionality of the store," Sullivan says. However, it will allow FYE.com to add product lines that BuyServices already handles.

The move is expected to reduce expenses by $3 million annually.

In the fourth quarter, Trans World generated a gross margin of 36.4% of sales, up from the 35.9% it accumulated in the same period in the preceding year. Meanwhile, selling, general and administrative expenses increased to 24.1% from the 23.7% in the previous-year period.

For the year, Trans World rang up net income of $23.1 million, or 60 cents per share, on sales of $1.33 billion. In 2002, it had a loss of $45.5 million loss, or $1.13 per diluted share, on sales of $1.28 billion.

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