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PHILADELPHIA-Urban Outfitters will continue to grow with a measured pace this year, with the company still on track to debut a fourth concept next year, executives said at its first quarter conference call.

The company plans to open at least 38 new stores during fiscal year 2008, with 15 or 16 each in the Urban Outfitters or Anthropologie format and six to eight Free People units. The company already has opened four new Urban Outfitters stores and two new Anthropologie stores in the first quarter. Store expansion is a critical component in the company’s growth, said Richard A. Hayne, chairman and president.

“We continue to believe we can have 600 stores domestically and at least another 200 stores overseas,” Hayne said.

Urban Outfitters operates 110 Urban Retail stores in the United States, Canada, and Europe; two Urban Outfitters web sites and an Urban catalog; 95 Anthropologie stores an Anthropologie catalog and web site; and eight Free People units. An announcement regarding its new brand, called Concept 4, will be made in the third quarter, with stores opening next year.

Total sales for the first quarter increased 16% over the previous year to a record $314.5 million. Overall comparable store sales decreased 2%. Comparable store sales at Anthropologie and Free People were up 2% and 8%, respectively and down 5% at Urban Outfitters stores. The company reported record earnings for the quarter of $29.4 million, up 45% from the previous year.

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