December 1, 2011 / 12:53 PM / in 6 years

Lululemon profit rises, sees sales growth steady

TORONTO (Reuters) - Lululemon Athletica Inc’s LLL.TO LULU.O profit rose but sales growth in existing stores slowed from the previous quarter, and its shares dropped after it said it saw no substantial pickup in the current quarter.

The company - one of the rare Canadian retailers that has enjoyed success in the U.S. market - said sales at established stores rose 16 percent in the third quarter ended October 30.

In the previous quarter, same-store sales rose 20 percent, and the company forecast a third-quarter slowdown in growth to the low to mid-teens in percentage terms.

Even as it slightly topped that outlook, on Thursday the company made the same forecast for the fourth quarter.

The Vancouver-based retailer said on Thursday its third quarter profit rose to $38.8 million, or 27 cents a share, from $25.7 million, or 18 cents, a year earlier. Revenue rose 31 percent to $230.2 million.

Shares of Lululemon dropped 12.9 percent to $43.30 in premarket trading early on Thursday.

Reporting by Allison Martell in Toronto and Aftab Ahmed in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das

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