LITTLE SWITZERLAND’S NET UP

NEW YORK — It took almost four years, but Little Switzerland Inc. has finally turned a quarterly profit.
The duty-free luxury goods retailer reported third-quarter net income swung to black from red, with earnings of $165,000, or 1 cent a diluted share, compared with a net loss of $2.4 million, or 27 cents, in the year-ago period.
For the three months ended Feb. 23, the St. Thomas, U.S., Virgin Islands-based firm posted net sales grew 0.1 percent to $19.2 million.
“This marks Little Switzerland’s first profitable quarter in the past 15 consecutive quarters,” said chief executive officer Robert Baumgardner in a statement. “This performance was achieved despite a sluggish U.S. economy and the events of Sept. 11, both of which combined to reduce travel leisure to the Caribbean markets where our stores operate.”
For the first nine months of the fiscal year, Little Switzerland reported a net loss of $3.8 million, or 23 cents, compared with last year’s loss of $5 million, or 58 cents. Sales for the period gained 7.8 percent to $43.7 million from $40.5 million a year ago.

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