After posting a fourth-quarter loss of $828.9 million, mainly due to a goodwill writedown, Liz Claiborne Inc. is expecting further “meaningful” losses in the first half of 2009 and is eyeing additional cost cuts.
Declining to provide 2009 earnings guidance due to “the highly uncertain environment,” Claiborne chief executive officer William L. McComb warned on an earnings call Wednesday that he anticipates no immediate improvement for retail sales in 2009 from the dismal final quarter of 2008.
Claiborne’s shares fell 11.4 percent to close at $2.50 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. The company said it took a $693 million impairment charge in the fourth quarter — representing the bulk of its loss — because market capitalization declined below book value as the company’s shares declined.
For the three months ended Jan. 3, the company nearly doubled its loss to $8.85 a diluted share, compared with a loss of $4.55 a share, or $435.7 million, in the fourth quarter last year.
Sales in the quarter fell 22 percent to $911.2 million from $1.17 billion, hurt by steep losses in the partnered brands division as well as in Mexx, which the company broke into a third category — “international-based direct brands” — for the first time to separate the troubled Amsterdam-based retailer from the better performing direct brands Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand and Kate Spade.
Excluding streamlining expenses, goodwill impairment charges and brands that have been licensed or exited, the adjusted loss from continuing operations was 4 cents a share, beating the loss of 5 cents a share expected by analysts polled by Yahoo Finance. In January, the company attempted to manage expectations, saying its quarterly loss could run as high as 15 cents a share.
For fiscal year 2008, Claiborne saw a loss of $951.8 million, or $10.17 a diluted share, compared with a 2007 loss of $372.8 million, or $3.74. Annual revenues fell 10 percent to $3.98 billion from $4.44 billion.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion