NEW YORK — Strong sales of Tommy Hilfiger and Coach branded watches and expanded jewelry offerings in its boutique stores combined to propel Movado Group Inc. to a double-digit earnings increase in the third quarter.

For the three months ended Oct. 31, the Paramus, N.J.-based timepiece manufacturer saw earnings rise 14.4 percent to $10.1 million, or 80 cents a diluted share, topping Wall Street’s consensus estimate of 76 cents. Comparatively, the company reported earnings of $8.8 million, or 73 cents, last year.

Sales for the period spiked 10.7 percent to $100.8 million from $91 million last year. Comparable-store sales at the company’s boutique stores mushroomed 19.2 percent.

Double-digit growth from the company’s Coach and Tommy Hilfiger segments highlighted the quarter’s strength. Eugene Karpovich, senior vice president and chief financial officer, said during the company conference call that strong sales in Japan spurred Coach to an overall revenue improvement of 40 percent.

Richard Cote, executive vice president and chief operating officer, went on to say that sales of Hilfiger products increased 70 percent to $6 million during the quarter. Year to date, Hilfiger sales have increased 48.2 percent to $12.3 million from $8.3 million last year, said Cote.

Efraim Grinberg, president and chief executive officer, said expanded jewelry offerings were the key factor behind higher sales at the company’s boutique stores.

“As the penetration of jewelry continues to increase in our boutiques so does our average sale,” said Grinberg.

The company opened two stores during the quarter, bringing the total number of units in operation to 14. Going forward the company plans to open stores in Seattle and Chicago this month as well as three others in 2004.

For the nine months to date earnings were up 15 percent to $16.7 million, or $1.33 a diluted share, from $14.5 million, or $1.19, last year.

Sales for the period were up 7.7 percent to $237.5 million from $220.5 million last year. Comps advanced 23.6 percent.

Given the strong results, the company boosted earnings guidance for the full year to between $1.78 and $1.81, compared with previous guidance in the range of $1.75 to $1.78.

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus