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Chaus 2nd-Qtr. Loss Increases

David Stiffman steps down as chief financial and operating officer.

Bernard Chaus Inc. registered a deeper second-quarter loss on sharply lower revenues as it worked its way through the transition to a licensee for Vince Camuto sportswear from its now terminated relationship with Kenneth Cole.

In a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York-based firm also reported that David Stiffman, chief operating officer, chief financial officer and a director, had resigned. He will be succeeded on an interim basis as cfo by William Runge, director of financial planning and control.

In the three months ended Jan. 1, Chaus’ net loss grew to $4.1 million, or 11 cents a diluted share, from a loss of $2.5 million, or 7 cents, in the year-ago quarter. Included in the most recent figure was a $1 million pretax gain on the early termination of the license for Kenneth Cole.

Revenues fell 19.9 percent to $16.9 million from $21.1 million in the 2009 period. Gross margin receded to 12.2 percent of sales in the second quarter from 22.3 percent of sales in its year-ago counterpart. Although selling, general and administrative costs ticked up just 0.8 percent to $7 million, they translated into 41.5 percent of sales, versus 33 percent in the second quarter of 2009, because of the decline in revenues.

The Form 10-Q included a schedule of minimum royalties and advertising and marketing expenses for the Camuto licensing agreement. The total amount guaranteed through 2015 was $8 million, with zero scheduled for the current year and $2.1 million due in the fiscal year ended in mid-2012.

For the six months, the firm registered a loss of $3.2 million, or 8 cents a diluted share, versus a year-ago loss of $3.4 million, or 9 cents. Revenues fell 0.4 percent to $44.6 million.