LANDS’ END HOLIDAY PROFITS RISE 8 PERCENT
NEW YORK — Lands’ End Inc. said profits for the nine-week holiday period ended Dec. 29 rose 8 percent to $25.3 million, or 75 cents per share.
In the eight-week holiday period in 1994, the direct marketer of casual apparel and accessories earned $23.3 million, or 67 cents per share. Sales for the latest period edged up 2 percent to $315 million. The company attributed the sales gain to its new and specialty operations, as well as international business. This increase was partially offset by lower sales from the firm’s core U.S. business, which consists of its monthly and prospecting catalogs. During the latest nine weeks, the number of catalogs mailed in the U.S. was lower than last year’s holiday period.
Gross profit in the nine-week period just ended was $140.2 million, or 44.5 percent of net sales, compared with $134.2 million, or 43.6 percent of net sales. Lands’ End noted that the increase in gross margin reflects lower merchandising costs, primarily from improvements in sourcing, and a greater amount of sales from higher margin businesses.
Inventory as of Dec. 29, grew to $164 million from $161 million, but liquidations of excess inventory were about 6 percent of sales during the nine-week period, about equal to the year-ago period. Selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of sales were 30.3 percent, compared with 30.9 percent in the prior year.
As reported, the company sold its subsidiary, MontBell America Inc., earlier this month to a subsidiary of Outdoor Industry Group Inc. of San Francisco. In connection with the sale, the company took a $1.1 million, or 3 cents a share, charge in the latest nine-week period. This is in addition to the charge of $2 million, or 6 cents, taken in January of fiscal 1995 for the anticipated sale of the subsidiary.
For the 48 weeks just ended, profits fell 15 percent to $30.0 million, or $0.88 a share, from $35.4 million, or $1.01, in 1994. Sales increased 3 percent to $946.9 million from $921 million. — Fairchild News Service