NEW YORK — Overseeing his first annual shareholders meeting as Jones Apparel Group Inc.’s chief executive officer, Wesley R. Card maintained the $3.85 billion vendor’s traditional brevity.
Card reviewed what he has done since he assumed the company’s top role last summer, and discussed the dampening effects of the economy in a 10-minute talk to his board and the approximately one dozen investors in the room at J.P. Morgan Chase’s 270 Park Avenue headquarters. No one had questions for the company’s new leader.
“When I became ceo 10 months ago after 17 years at the company, I assumed the job at a very difficult time when the company was underperforming,” said Card, adding, “I have the full support of the board of directors,” perhaps in contrast to his predecessor Peter Boneparth.
Card outlined his accomplishments during the year: filling executive posts without significant turnover in the ranks, maintaining marketing spend despite the economic downturn, hiring a head of e-commerce, moving the L.E.I. brand to Wal-Mart, improving the product assortment and appearance of outlet stores, and working with the company’s international partners to continue growth, particularly in Asia.
But Card also noted the effects of the macroeconomic environment. “As a result, the impact of our efforts are not being fully shown in the results today,” he said.
For the first quarter ended April 5, Jones’ earnings fell 59.2 percent to $19.5 million, or 23 cents a diluted share, from $47.8 million, or 44 cents, on revenues that slid 9.6 percent to $975.4 million from $1.08 billion.