Abbot Kinney Opening, Vince Venice Beach, Los Angeles, America - 11 Nov 2015Abbot Kinney Opening, Vince Venice Beach, Los Angeles, America - 11 Nov 2015

Vince Holding Corp., driven by sales momentum and an $82 million tax benefit, moved into the black in the fourth quarter, reporting net income of $74.5 million, or $6.41 per diluted share for the period ending Feb. 3, 2018, compared with a net loss of $162.1 million, or $32.81 a share, for the year-ago period.

On an adjusted basis, there was a net loss of $2.4 million, or 20 cents a share, indicating improvement in operations from the year-ago period when there was a loss of $7.6 million or $1.55 a share.

The operating loss was $6.6 million compared with $62.9 million. The adjusted operating loss was $1.5 million compared with 7.8 million.

In the latest quarter, comparable sales grew 16.1 percent. Total sales increased 16.9 percent to $74.6 million from $63.9 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. The total sales gain included $1.6 million due to an extra, or 14th week in the last quarter.

“We were pleased with our fourth-quarter results, which reflect the significant progress we’ve made toward regaining market share,” said Brendan Hoffman, chief executive officer, who since joining the company in October 2015, has led turnaround efforts centered around new products, refocusing the distribution and recently beginning to open stores under favorable lease terms.

“Our strong comparable sales results illustrate that our product is resonating with consumers and that the demand for the Vince brand remains strong,” Hoffman stated. “Our largest comp increase came from locations in proximity to department stores that we have exited, demonstrating that our efforts to capture these customers in our own stores are working. As we place greater emphasis on our direct-to-consumer growth strategy, we plan to opportunistically open stores in key street and mall locations that are appropriate for the Vince brand. In our wholesale business, our partnerships with Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus are progressing very well and we are beginning to see our collaborative efforts yield benefits.”

Hoffman also cited continued momentum in the current quarter through both the direct-to-consumer and department store channels.

By segment, wholesale sales increased 11.7 percent to $38.5 million. Direct-to-consumer segment sales increased 22.9 percent to $36.2 million.

The company ended the quarter with 55 company-operated stores, an increase of one store since the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016.

For the year, comparable store sales on a 52-week basis increased 4.5 percent while net sales increased 1.6 percent to $272.6 million — including the 53rd week — from $268.2 million in 2016.

Wholesale segment net sales decreased 2.3 percent to $166.1 million and direct-to-consumer segment net sales increased 8.5 percent to $106.5 million.

Net income was $58.6 million, or $7.70 per diluted share, including the tax benefit, versus a net loss of $162.7 million in 2016. The adjusted net loss was $18.3 million, or $2.41 per share, compared to adjusted net loss of $8.2 million, or $1.76 per share, for 2016.