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Impairment Throws G-III to 4th-Qtr. Loss

Wilsons, Andrew Marc acquisitions cut into bottom line.

Pretax impairment charges of $33.5 million threw G-III Apparel Group Ltd. to a large fourth-quarter loss.

During the three months ended Jan. 31, G-III registered a net loss of $32.1 million, or $1.93 a diluted share, versus net income of $1.1 million, or 6 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Excluding impairment, the loss came to 23 cents a share, nearly four times the 6-cent-a-share loss forecast by analysts, according to Yahoo Finance.

Boosted by acquisitions, the source of the goodwill and trademark impairment, sales rose 32.6 percent to $170.7 million from $128.7 million.

Failure to meet last year’s plan prompted management to outline a new strategy for the 120-unit Wilsons outlet business acquired by the company last July. Detailed by management during the earnings conference call late Tuesday, G-III will close some doors, emphasize current as opposed to year-end merchandise and spruce up the look and feel of the stores.

Management also unveiled plans to ramp up its offerings under Andrew Marc, the leather outerwear brand also acquired last year. Morris Goldfarb, chairman and chief executive officer, said the company is likely to unveil plans for men’s accessories and small leather goods as well as a women’s dress line by yearend. The company currently markets men’s and women’s outerwear and women’s handbags under the Andrew Marc label.

Both acquisitions will continue to weigh on profitability, however. Goldfarb forecast an $8 million loss for the first quarter, compared with a $6.9 million loss in last year’s quarter, a difference, he said, attributable to the acquired businesses. Sales for the quarter are projected to jump 39 percent to $150 million, thanks to growth in the company’s dress business and the launch of its women’s Calvin Klein sportswear program.

For the full year, the company logged a net loss of $14 million, or 85 cents a diluted share, versus net income of $17.5 million, or $1.05, in 2007. Sales rose 37.1 percent to $711.1 million from $518.9 million.