TIMBERLAND MARKS $1B IN SALES

NEW YORK — The Timberland Co., citing double-digit increases in footwear, outerwear, apparel and accessories, reported net earnings for the fourth quarter rose 36.9 percent, while topping the $1 billion mark in annual sales for the first time.
Profits for the Stratham, N.H.-based firm increased to $40.9 million, or 96 cents per diluted share for the three months ended Dec. 31. That compares to earnings of $29.9 million, or 69 cents, in the year-ago period. Revenues rose 19.6 percent to $330.6 million.
“These results reflect Timberland’s continued focus on its core strategic objectives,” said the company’s president and chief executive Jeffrey B. Swartz, adding that growth was across Timberland’s “diversified portfolio of product, channels and geographies.”
Swartz said the firm took a big step in 2000 toward its goals of building Timberland into an integrated, global lifestyle brand; expanding consumer access to the Timberland brand; developing a corporate culture focused on speed and service, and transforming its community.
Domestic revenue was up 15.9 percent, to $258.7 million, while international sales were up 35 percent to $71.9 million.
Results reflect the February acquisition of four Asian subsidiaries and its August purchase from Inchcape PLC, its distributor in the Asia-Pacific region. Excluding the deal, international sales were up 12.1 percent, on a constant dollar basis.
Worldwide footwear revenue was up 17.5 percent to $249 million, and worldwide apparel and accessories gained 29.6 percent to $80 million. Worldwide wholesale revenue was up 16.1 percent to $224.4 million and worldwide retail revenue increased 27.7 percent to $106.2 million. Domestic retail revenue increased 9.2 percent to $76.6 million on a comparable store sales increase of 2.9 percent.
For the full year, Timberland earnings improved 62.1 percent to $122 million, or $2.91 a share, from $75.2 million, or $1.70. Sales increased 19 percent to $1.1 billion from $917.2 million. Earnings include a $2.1 million, or 5 cents aftertax extraordinary loss incurred in the second quarter.
Timberland is building an online infrastructure that could support consumer-direct sales if the footwear manufacturer ever takes that route. For the time being, its Web site presents content and community but not sales, said Yusef Akyuz, vice president of information services for the company.

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