TIMBERLAND PROFITS FALL 15.7% IN 3RD QUARTER

NEW YORK — The Timberland Co. blamed the promotional environment and the high cost of leather for its 15.7 percent plunge in third-quarter profits.
The outdoor apparel and footwear maker, based in Stratham, N.H., said income for the quarter ended Sept. 28 fell to $48.5 million, or $1.22 a share, compared with $57.5 million, or $1.35, in the year-ago period. Sales reached $396.2 million, 5.6 percent higher than the $375.2 million reported last year. Analysts were expecting $1.18. Jeffrey B. Swartz, Timberland’s president and chief executive, said the company expects continued challenges over the next few quarters.
“Soft U.S. market trends lead us to expect modest-to-flat revenue growth for the balance of 2001. We are also anticipating no better than flat revenues in the first half of 2002,” he said.
Domestic revenue rose 2.4 percent to $278.6 million, but comparable domestic sales decreased by 9.1 percent. International revenue increased 13.9 percent to $117.6 million and comprised 29.7 percent of the quarter’s revenue, compared with 27.5 percent last year. Worldwide footwear revenue increased 2.6 percent to $305 million, and worldwide apparel and accessories revenue rose 18 percent to $86.9 million.
Worldwide wholesale revenue rose 6.4 percent to $320.4 million, while worldwide retail revenue increased 2.5 percent to $75.8 million.
For the nine months, Timberland earned $76.5 million, or $1.89 a share, 5.6 percent lower than the $81.1 million, or $1.90, earned in the prior-year period on sales of $842.5 million, 10.7 percent higher than the $760.9 million in sales reported last year.

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