NINE WEST NET TUMBLES 58.4% IN QUARTER
NEW YORK — Profits at Nine West Group Inc. fell 58.4 percent in the first quarter, battered by continued weakness in the domestic and international retail markets for footwear.
Earnings in the quarter ended May 2 totaled $7.3 million, or 20 cents a share, against $17.5 million, or 48 cents, a year earlier.
Sales rose 10.4 percent to $448.3 million from $406.1 million.
In a statement, Vincent Camuto, chief executive officer, said retail weakness, combined with heavier promotional pricing in wholesale and retail business, drove same-store sales down 3.8 percent domestically and 5.7 percent internationally while reducing gross margins.
He noted that retail revenues accounted for 49 percent of net revenues, with wholesale revenues comprising the rest.
Camuto said a higher percentage of international and domestic retail sales than a year ago contributed to operating margin erosion. He blamed higher selling and administrative costs for the retail slippage — and particularly for international retailing — compared with wholesale.
He said steps are under way to address the problems. These include slowing the pace of retail expansion and closing about 20 domestic retail locations this year. About 60 international locations will be opened.
The company opened one CK/Calvin Klein shop carrying the label’s shoes and accessories this year, for a total of four at quarter’s end.