NEW YORK – Crumbs Bake Shop, Inc. plans to make changes designed to improve its structure, operating model and merchandising after it posted losses for the fiscal year and fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011.

The company, a national neighborhood bakery that specializes in cupcakes, suffered a net loss of $3.7 million in the fiscal year, which compared to net income of $796,000, or 20c per share, in the previous fiscal year. A net loss of $2.5 million in the fourth quarter compared to a net loss of $134,000 in the fourth quarter of the previous fiscal year.

“Our results for the fourth quarter were certainly unsatisfactory and highlight the need for substantive changes that will help us stabilize the business in 2012,” said Julian R. Geiger, president and chief executive officer of Crumbs, when financial results were given Feb. 28. “We have already identified the most important areas to address and have begun to implement new policies and approaches to improve our structure, our operating model and our merchandising.”

Sales increased to $39.9 million in the fiscal year, up from $31.1 million in the previous fiscal year, and $11 million in the fourth quarter, up from $8.5 million.

Fourth-quarter expenses increased. Staff expenses were $5.3 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011. They included cash and non-cash expenses related to a c.e.o. transition in which Mr. Geiger in November took over for Jason Bauer, who became senior vice-president of business development. Staff expenses were $2.3 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2010. Adjusted for c.e.o. transition costs, fourth-quarter staff expenses increased 49% in 2011 because of the opening of additional stores and additional corporate staff.

Crumbs ended 2011 with 48 stores open in six states and Washington, D.C. The company already has opened two stores in 2012. It currently is constructing two other locations and anticipates opening between five and seven mall-based stores within the corridor of Boston to Washington later this year.