Saks, Neiman’s See Strong Q4 Profit Growth

Comparable-store sales also rise strongly for the two luxury retailers.

Luxe shoppers were out buying last quarter, as profit increases at both Saks Inc. and Neiman Marcus Inc. attest, but there were more signs the macroeconomic winds are also blowing over the well-heeled.

Fourth-quarter profits at Saks Inc. shot up 83.4 percent to $39.5 million, or 26 cents a share, as sales for the three months ended Feb. 2 inched up 4.7 percent to $999.7 million. Comparable-store sales in the quarter rose 9 percent, with February same-store sales rising 3.4 percent.

“Notwithstanding our improved performance and the longer-term outlook for the luxury channel, we expect to continue to face an increasingly challenging macroeconomic and promotional environment in 2008 and are taking a more conservative approach to planning the business,” said chairman and chief executive officer Stephen Sadove.

At Neiman Marcus, profits for its second quarter, which ended Jan. 26, advanced 8 percent to $44.3 million as sales pushed ahead 6 percent to $1.37 billion. Comps rose 3.7 percent during the quarter. February comps fell 7.3 percent.

For further coverage, see Thursday’s issue of WWD.

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