By  on July 27, 2007

Kenneth Cole Productions reported second-quarter earnings Thursday that plummeted 49 percent, hurt by decreased sales and increased expenses in the men's sportswear business.

For the three months ended June 30, earnings fell to $3.3 million, or 16 cents a diluted share, from $6.5 million, or 32 cents, in the year-ago period. Sales for the quarter dropped 13 percent to $108.3 million from $124.9 million, while same-store sales declined less than 1 percent.

For the six-month period, earnings slid 30 percent to $6.7 million, or 33 cents a diluted share, from $9.6 million, or 47 cents, in the year prior. Sales dropped 37 percent to $228.2 million from $237.1 million last year.

"Although our results were in line with our guidance and we have made some progress, we clearly have much to do," said Kenneth Cole, chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement. "I'm confident that the investments we are making will pay off and will generate the desired improvement in our operating results."

The company, which designs, sources and markets footwear, handbags and accessories, expects third-quarter earnings in the range of 15 cents to 18 cents a diluted share. This includes about 12 cents of non-cash stock compensation charges and incremental expenses for the development and production of men's sportswear.

Separately, Kenneth Cole announced that its board of directors approved its quarterly dividend of 18 cents a share, which will be paid to shareholders on Sept. 13.

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