• Net income $5.2m, compared to $5.6m in Q4 last year
  • "Solid profitability" in final quarter
  • Full-year loss reported

Bakers Footwear Group reported a reduced profit during the fourth quarter period, as sales crept forward by 1%.

The mall-based retailer said that for the thirteen weeks ended 29 January its net sales were $58.2m, while same-store increased 2.6%.

Selling, general and administrative expenses were $15.1m, or 25.9% of net sales in the fourth quarter, compared to $14.8m in the prior-year period

Peter Edison, chairman and chief executive officer of Bakers Footwear Group, said: “We achieved solid profitability in the fourth quarter fueled by positive comparable store sales and a 9.9% increase in multi-channel sales despite increased promotional activity toward the end of the quarter to position our business for a much improved spring season.

"The year included progress toward our key initiatives to increase sales and position our company for improved long term operating performance. To this end, we continued our fashion leadership in footwear, which is demonstrated by the achievement of our third consecutive year of positive comparable store sales in 2010.

"We introduced exclusive brands in our Bakers stores to provide further differentiation in our offerings, which is expected to increase customer loyalty and broaden our consumer reach. We also capitalised on the significant runway that we see ahead to increase our multi-channel sales.

"At the same time, we continued to tightly manage expenses. Our increased inventory levels at year end reflected the early receipt of spring goods with aging improved from 2009. We also are happy to note that we completed the repayment of our subordinated secured term loan during the fourth quarter."

For the fiscal year, the fifty-two weeks ended 29 January 29, Bakers said net sales were $185.6m, up from $185.4m in the prior year, but posted a net loss of $9.3m, compared to a net loss of $9.1m in the prior year.

For the first eight weeks of fiscal 2011 ended 26 March, same-store sales increased 9.8% compared to an increase of 1.6% in the same period last year, Bakers added.