By and  on June 8, 2007

Luxury retailers are ratcheting up their games, but Neiman Marcus Group Inc. is unfazed by the widening competition.

For the third-quarter ended April 28, Neiman's said Thursday that earnings jumped 47 percent to $59.5 million from $40.5 million in the year-ago period.

Total revenues grew 8 percent to $1.07 billion from $99.3 million, and same-store sales rose 6.1 percent.

"We are very, very pleased with our results for the quarter and our ongoing positive results, and we are reaching new levels of performance that we are proud of," Burt Tansky, president and chief executive officer, told WWD. "We work very hard to get these kind of results, and we have potential to improve further. We are not changing anything. What we do, we do well. We understand the customer, know what she wants and we serve her well."

During a conference call, Tansky cited handbags, designer jewelry, dresses, women's shoes and the men's categories as leading segments for the last quarter.

Neiman's main rivals — Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom and Barneys New York — are expanding with more doors and showing strong results, as well.

"We haven't felt any of the impact of that," Tansky said. "It takes more than buying merchandise to get it sold properly. It has to be accompanied by service, follow-through and developing a relationship with customers. Those are the ingredients our customers expect. It takes a great deal more to be successful at the top range of fashion than just buying goods and putting it out on the floor. You have to be able to sell it profitably."

Asked for his outlook on fall, Tansky said, "We continue to be opportunistic about levels of business as we go forward. We're pleased with our selection of merchandise. Based on an early view of designer offerings, fall could be a good season. Goods are starting to roll in now and [deliveries] peak in August and September."

Operating earnings for the quarter were $162.6 million up from $133.1 million in the same quarter last year. Adjusted operating earnings were $180.6 million, a 20 percent increase from $150.6 million. Neiman's believes adjusted operating earnings, which exclude amortization, acquisition costs, non-cash charges and other costs, is a more meaningful representation of the company's economic performance.

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