NEW YORK — Helped by initial shipments of the Nautica women’s line, Bernard Chaus Inc. reported earnings of $361,000, or 1 cent a share, in the first quarter ended Sept. 30, turning around a loss of $407,000 a year ago.
The period was Chaus’s first profitable quarter since the second quarter that ended in December 1993.
Sales eased 1.8 percent to $48 million from $48.9 million.
Josephine Chaus, chairwoman, and Andrew Grossman, chief executive officer, said in a joint statement that gross margins improved to 26 percent of sales from 22 percent as a result of the fall launch of the licensed Nautica women’s sportswear line.
Besides Nautica’s contribution, the company saw better sell-throughs at retail of its core Chaus products.
“Although weaker-than-anticipated bookings for holiday will cause our fiscal second quarter to be no better than a year ago, we expect that stronger initial orders for spring coupled with tight inventory management will improve operating performance for the second half of the fiscal year,” their statement said.
In the second quarter last year, Chaus lost $3.9 million on sales of $49 million.
As of Sept. 30, Chaus’s balance sheet had inventories of $21 million, down from $22.1 million. It also showed a working capital deficit of $18.8 million against $13.7 million.

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