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Bankrupt Kasper ASL Posts First-Half Profit

NEW YORK — Bankrupt Kasper ASL Ltd. on Monday posted results that showed improvements — earnings as opposed to year-ago losses — for its second quarter and half-year numbers.<br><br>For the three months ended June 29, the...

NEW YORK — Bankrupt Kasper ASL Ltd. on Monday posted results that showed improvements — earnings as opposed to year-ago losses — for its second quarter and half-year numbers.

For the three months ended June 29, the manufacturer reported $6 million in income, or 88 cents a diluted share, versus a $13.9 million loss, or $2.04, in the year-ago quarter. Reorganization costs in the quarter were $841,000. Interest and financing costs fell by a whopping 78.5 percent to $1.6 million from $7.3 million.

Total revenues, including sales and royalties, were down 8.9 percent to $71.8 million from $78.8 million.

Sales in the quarter dropped 10.3 percent to $67.8 million from $75.5 million, but that was offset by a 22.2 hike in royalty income to $4 million from $3.3 million. Gross margin as a percentage of sales was 51.8 percent in the period, versus just 29.9 percent a year ago.

John D. Idol, chairman and chief executive, said in a statement, “We have expanded our gross margins, reduced our operating expenses and, as a result, we are seeing improvement in our performance compared to the prior year.”

Idol noted that the company reduced its inventory by $58.3 million to $38.4 million. Inventory in the year-ago quarter was $96.7 million.

The ceo noted, “While six months is not necessarily indicative of the full year, these results have positioned the company to move forward with our turnaround plan. Our management team is focused on emerging from reorganization under the bankruptcy code as a balanced and profitable multibrand women’s apparel company.”

For the six months, income was $11.7 million, or $1.71 a diluted share, against a loss of $14.6 million, or $2.15, last year. Reorganization costs in the period was $2.5 million. Interest and financing costs dropped by 64 percent to $5.1 million from $14.3 million. Total revenue fell 7.7 percent to $189.1 million.

Sales in the period decreased by 8.5 percent to $181.4 million from $198.2 million, while royalty income rose 14.6 percent to $7.7 million from $6.7 million. Gross margin as a percentage of sales in the half was 41.7 percent compared with 30 percent last year.

Kasper voluntarily filed for bankruptcy court protection on Feb. 5 in Manhattan.

This story first appeared in the August 20, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Brands under the firm’s umbrella include Albert Nipon, Anne Klein, Kasper and Le Suit. The company also licenses its Albert Nipon, Anne Klein and Kasper brands.