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St. John Earnings Surge 93.2%

NEW YORK — St. John Knits International nearly doubled its net income in the third quarter on a far more modest increase in sales.<br><br>The Irvine, Calif.-based women’s apparel marketer reported that, for the 13 weeks ended July 28, net...

NEW YORK — St. John Knits International nearly doubled its net income in the third quarter on a far more modest increase in sales.

The Irvine, Calif.-based women’s apparel marketer reported that, for the 13 weeks ended July 28, net income allocated to common stockholders skyrocketed 93.2 percent, to $5 million, or 76 cents a diluted share, from $2.6 million, or 38 cents, in the year-ago period.

Sales moved up 9.5 percent to $88.1 million from $80.4 million during the same interval. Retail revenues jumped 14.7 percent to $30.9 million while wholesale volume was up 3.3 percent to $74.1 million. Combined retail and wholesale revenues exceed the sales total because they exclude intersegmental eliminations of $16.9 million.

Operating income was up 13.1 percent at the wholesale unit, to $16.9 million, and ahead 60.1 percent, to $634,000, at the retail division.

Comparable-store sales at company-owned boutiques increased 2.7 percent, the firm said. During the quarter, the company operated 27 St. John boutiques, 10 outlet stores, two home stores and one home outlet.

For the nine months, net income allocated to common shareholders dropped 10.2 percent to $15.5 million, or $2.34 a diluted share, from $17.2 million, or $2.59, in the comparable period last year. Sales receded 3.7 percent to $268.3 million from $278.6 million.

Although now privately held, some of St. John’s stock remains in public hands and it continues to report its financial results.