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Operating Costs Aid Hartmax in Quarter

NEW YORK — Buoyed by a small third-quarter profit, Hartmarx Corp. reaffirmed its pledge to register a profitable year overall.<br><br>After losing $13.9 million last year and $955,000 so far this year, for the three months ended Aug. 31, the...

NEW YORK — Buoyed by a small third-quarter profit, Hartmarx Corp. reaffirmed its pledge to register a profitable year overall.

After losing $13.9 million last year and $955,000 so far this year, for the three months ended Aug. 31, the Chicago-based tailored clothing and apparel giant recorded net earnings of $85,000, or no cents a diluted share. That compares favorably to last year’s quarter, when the company lost $6.6 million, or 22 cents.

Excluding a $1.7 million one-time charge related to Hartmarx’s reorganization initiatives begun last year, the firm would have logged net income of $1.8 million, or 5 cents. However, the improved profit profile wasn’t the result of higher sales. Revenues fell another 7 percent to $149.6 million from $160.8 million a year ago.

Rather, it was cost cuts accruing to the bottom line that contributed to the earnings improvement. Hartmarx’s cost of goods sold outpaced diminishing sales, falling 12 percent to $106.9 million from $121.4 million last year. Selling, general and administrative expenses also slimmed down considerably, falling 12.3 percent to $35.9 million from $40.9 million last year.

This story first appeared in the October 7, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.