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International Sales Lead Fossil

NEW YORK — Fueled by growth on the international front, Fossil Inc. on Tuesday reported increases in both sales and profits for the first quarter.<br><br>The Richardson, Tex.-based watch and accessories firm said for the three months ended April...

NEW YORK — Fueled by growth on the international front, Fossil Inc. on Tuesday reported increases in both sales and profits for the first quarter.

This story first appeared in the May 14, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The Richardson, Tex.-based watch and accessories firm said for the three months ended April 5, income rose 2.8 percent to $12.1 million, or 25 cents a diluted share, compared with income of $11.8 million, or 25 cents, in the year-ago period. Overall sales for the quarter climbed 18.2 percent to $169.8 million over $143.7 million. Earnings came in a penny ahead of Wall Street’s best guess of 24 cents.

“Our first-quarter sales results were fueled by strong global gains in Fossil and licensed watches, new initiatives such as Burberry watches and Emporio Armani jewelry and a continued benefit from the strong euro,” Mike Kovar, chief financial officer, said in a statement.

Domestically, first-quarter sales at company owned retail stores increased 14 percent due to an 18 percent increase in the average number of stores opened in the quarter and a 1 percent comparable-store sales increase. Sales from its domestic watch business increased 1.4 percent, negatively impacted by a reduction in expected shipments in the later half of March, particularly Fossil and Relic watches. Sales from its accessories and sunglass units rose 3.3 percent, with particular strength in Relic handbags.

Led by results in Europe and the Far East, total international sales rose 44 percent during the quarter. Global sales of new product initiatives, including Swiss-made Burberry and Zodiac watches and Emporio Armani jewelry, contributed about $3.5 million to overall sales, while acquisitions added $3.6 million.