HSN BACK IN THE BLACK
NEW YORK — Marking a solid turnaround, Home Shopping Network reported a fourth-quarter profit of $6.4 million after a $2.6 million special charge. A year ago, the firm lost $25.6 million after $20.6 million in special charges.
Barry Diller, chairman and chief executive officer of HSN Inc., said in a statement, “We have clearly made progress in this transition year and expect to continue full force in 1997.”
In the quarter ended Dec. 31, sales at the network’s core electronic retail business climbed 10.2 percent to $249.4 million from $226.2 million.
The network increased units sold by 11.5 percent to 6.9 million in 1996. The average price point was reduced by 8.5 percent to $46.57, from $50.92 in 1995. The network also lowered its return rate to 21.3 percent from 25.8 percent, the lowest level since 1990.
The charge in the last quarter was for staff reductions and asset write-downs from closing three outlets and a fulfillment center.
The year-ago quarter included a $12.1 million charge for reducing the carrying value of inventory and $8.5 million in other pretax charges.