SUNGLASS HUT HIT WITH LOSS

NEW YORK — Pounded by over $30 million in restructuring expenses, Sunglass Hut Internation-al reported a $21 million net loss for the fourth quarter.
The loss, for the quarter ended Feb. 3, translated to 52 cents a share and included pre-tax charges of $27.1 million for asset impairments in its Internet and North American stand-alone watch operations, $2.1 million related to the closure of 14 watch specialty stores and $1.1 million in separation costs.
In the year-ago quarter, the Coral Gables, Fla.-based specialty chain had net income of $1.7 million, or 4 cents a diluted share. Year-ago results included an after-tax charge of $738,000 to reflect the estimated loss from disposal of discontinued operations.
Excluding charges, earnings per share were 7 cents in the most recent quarter and 5 cents in the year-ago period.
Sales for the most recent quarter, which had 14 weeks, rose 17.1 percent to $177 million from $151.1 million in the 13-week prior-year quarter. On a same-store basis, sales rose 5.2 percent.
For the year, Sunglass Hut registered a net loss of $811,000, or 2 cents a share, compared with net income of $26.8 million, or 57 cents. Results for the year just ended included pre-tax charges of $30.1 million, while the prior year included a $399,000 pre-tax restructuring reversal and the $738,000 after-tax charge from the fourth quarter.
Sales for the year rose 6.9 percent to $679.7 million from $635.6 million.
Last year numbered 53 weeks while the prior year contained 52. On a same-store basis, sales for the year rose 3.7 percent.
As reported, Sunglass Hut agreed on Feb. 22 to be acquired by Luxottica Group in a transaction valued at about $653 million. A tender offer began on March 5 and is set to expire on March 30.