QUARTER NET AT TIMBERLAND CHOPPED 56.7%

STRATHAM, N.H.--The Timberland Co. reported third-quarter earnings plummeted 56.7 percent to $7.1 million, or 63 cents a share, from $16.3 million, or $1.45, in the year-ago period.
Sales for the three months ended Sept. 29 slipped 4.3 percent to $212.6 million from $222.2 million.
For the nine months the company lost $12.4 million after a $16 million restructuring charge taken in the second quarter. In the year-ago period, Timberland earned $14.8 million, or $1.32. Sales rose 4.7 percent to $479.3 million from $457.7 million.
Despite the decreases in profit drops, the company was able to strengthen its balance sheet in the third quarter, Jeffrey B. Swartz, chief operating officer of the company, said in a statement. "The net result is that we were able to generate a positive cash flow for the quarter and reduce debt by over $7 million," he said.
"We know we need to improve profits over time, but our priorities for the year are clear: manage for cash and support the brand," Swartz remarked. Timberland ended the quarter with $221 million in inventory, a decline of $44 million from the end of the second quarter. Also in the third quarter, Swartz stated that Timberland was able to improve its accounts receivable days sales outstanding to 69 days from 81 days at the end of the second quarter.--Fairchild News Service

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