• Q1 loss of $10.8m versus $1.7m profit 
  • Sales slipped 1.6% to $588.7m
  • FY EPS guidance raised to $1.22-1.29

Footwear business Brown Shoe Company has today (29 May) raised its full-year earnings guidance, even though restructuring costs and weaker sales pushed it to a first-quarter loss.

Net loss was US$10.8m for the 13 weeks to 4 May, compared to a $1.7m profit in the same period last year. The group said the results included $28.8m in restructuring costs, adding that adjusted earnings were $13.8m.

Sales, including those from brands and businesses the group has excited, slipped 1.6% to $588.7m from $598.2m the prior year. 

"Despite uncooperative weather in February and March, we were able to deliver better than expected results for the quarter," said CFO Russ Hammer.

At Famous Footwear, sales rose 1.5% to $352.3m, driven by growth in athletic and canvas shoe styles. Same-store sales were up 1.1%. Excluding discontinued and exited brands, wholesale sales were down 2.9%.

Gross profit margin improved 160 basis points to 40.8% over 39.2% last year.

"In addition to stronger-than-expected adjusted EPS of $0.32, we reported record first quarter operating profit of $29m at Famous Footwear, as we saw improved consumer conversion related to our strategic real estate, inventory and omni-channel efforts," said president and CEO Diane Sullivan.

Brown Shoe Company now expects full-year adjusted earnings per share to be $1.22-1.29, up from its previous guidance of $1.18-1.25.

The news comes after the company sold its Avia and Nevados labels to brand acquisition and development firm Galaxy Brand Holdings for US$74m last month, and intends to use the proceeds to pay down debt.