• Q4 profit falls 34.6% to US$3.4m
  • Net sales declined 8% to $53.6m
  • Comparable-store sales fell 7.1%


Bakers Footwear Group returned to profitability during its fourth-quarter, despite booking a wider full-year loss.

The company today (30 April) recorded US$3.4m net income for the three months ended 28 January, its first quarterly profit this year. Nevertheless, this was 34.6% lower than the US$5.2m profit booked in the same period last year.

Net sales declined 8% over the quarter to $53.6m as comparable-store sales fell 7.1%. Gross profit margin dropped to 30.2% of sales against 35.3%, reflecting increased promotional activity in the dress boot category.

"As we anticipated, our fourth quarter performance reflected a difficult dress boot season, which resulted in lower fourth quarter sales and margins," said chairman and CEO Peter Edison.

"On a positive note, we achieved profitability in the quarter, and advanced our cost reduction goals while positioning our inventory to capitalise on the spring season.

"We achieved our fourth consecutive year of positive comparable store sales and increased the percentage of exclusive brands in our Bakers stores to provide further differentiation in our offerings.

"We also generated strong growth in our multi-channel sales which grew by 31.2% in fiscal 2011.

"As we begin fiscal 2012 we are focused on delivering $10m in margin enhancements and cost cuts while providing our customers with compelling fashion."

For the full-year, losses widened to $11m from $9.3m the year before. Net sales declined slightly to $185.1m from $185.6m. Comparable store sales increased 1.3%. Operating loss was $9.2m and included a $3.8m gain on the sale of the Wild Pair trademark and a $1.9m non-cash impairment charge associated with certain underperforming stores.