The weakening business environment and accounting quirks took their toll on the fourth-quarter results of Signet Jewelers Ltd., parent to Kay Jewelers and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry.
Also on Wednesday, Delia’s Inc. reported a fourth-quarter profit, largely from the sales of its skateboard catalogue business, and Citi Trends Inc. reported higher profits for the quarter and also named David Alexander, president and chief operating officer, to succeed Ed Anderson as chief executive officer upon Anderson’s retirement April 4.
In the three months ended Jan. 31, a $516.9 million charge to write down the value of legacy acquisitions led Signet to a net loss of $424 million, or $4.97 a diluted share, versus year-ago earnings of $143 million, or $1.65. Based in Hamilton, Bermuda, Signet changed the way it handles its books after switching the primary listing of its shares to the New York Stock Exchange and adopting U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP. Most of the goodwill that was written off related to acquisitions made in 1990 and before.
For the quarter ended Jan. 31, sales fell 18.9 percent to $1.12 billion from $1.38 billion.
For the full year, Signet’s losses of $393.7 million, or $4.62 a diluted share, compared with earnings of $219.8 million, or $2.55, a year earlier. Sales dropped 8.8 percent to $3.34 billion. U.S. sales accounted for $2.54 billion of the total.
“Given the very challenging environment, the group has made an encouraging start to fiscal 2010,” said Terry Burman, ceo. “In the U.S., same-store sales for the first seven weeks were down 2.7 percent….In the U.K., same-store sales for the first seven weeks were down 3.8 percent.”
The relatively upbeat assessment of sales in the new year helped to lift shares of Signet $1.22, or 10.8 percent, to $12.50.
While charges threw Signet to a loss, the sale of its CCS skateboard catalogue business to Foot Locker Inc. allowed Delia’s Inc. to more than triple its fourth-quarter profits.
Net income for the three months ended Jan. 31 soared 275.8 percent to $22.6 million, or 73 cents a diluted share, compared with $6 million, or 19 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding the aftertax impairment and restructuring costs related to the sale of the CCS business on Nov. 5, the firm registered a net loss of $873,000, or 3 cents a share. Revenue grew 0.1 percent to $67.2 million, from $67.1 million a year earlier. Retail sales increased 6.9 percent to $33.9 million, while direct sales fell 6 percent to $33.3 million.
For the year, the retailer had net income of $17.2 million, or 55 cents a share, versus $2.3 million, or 8 cents a share, in 2007. Net sales rose 7 percent to $215.6 million, from $201.6 million.
Value-priced retailer Citi Trends posted a 20 percent leap in fourth-quarter profits. Net income moved to $10.1 million, or 70 cents a diluted share, versus $8.4 million, or 59 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Net sales grew 8.9 percent, to $146.6 million from $134.6 million, but fell 1.9 percent on a same-store basis. Analysts were looking for earnings per share of 55 cents on sales of $146.6 million, according to Yahoo Finance.
For the year, net income grew 22.3 percent to $17.4 million, or $1.22 a share, compared with $14.2 million, or $1 a share, in 2007. Revenues increased 11.6 percent, to $488.2 million from $437.5 million.
Following his retirement, Anderson will remain with Citi Trends as executive chairman as well as chairman of the company’s real estate committee.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast