• Q4 earnings down 12.2%
  • Net sales climb 11.7%

Children's wear company Carter's has said it is planning for "good growth" in its next fiscal year, despite recording a drop in earnings in its fourth-quarter.

Earnings in the three months ended 28 December dropped 12.2% to US$5.9m from $42.7m a year earlier. The decline was due to charges related to office consolidation, its acquisition of tradenames, and the exit of its retail operations in Japan.

Excluding these expenses, net income increased 4.6% to $56.2m.

Net sales climbed 11.7% in the quarter to $769.7m, while sales of the firm's Carter's brands grew 9.7% to $567.2m. International sales increased 33%, to $86.3m.

For fiscal 2014, the company has guided for a net revenue increase of 8% to 10%, and adjusted diluted EPS to increase 12% to 15%.

"Carter's achieved its 25th consecutive year of sales growth in 2013," said CEO Michael Casey. "We are planning good growth in sales and earnings in 2014, driven by our direct-to-consumer businesses in the US and Canada."

FBR Capital Markets analyst Susan Anderson, said: "We believe store sales have been surprisingly resilient in 1Q-to-date, particularly impressive given the adverse weather and weak traffic.

"Including e-commerce, the total company comp is likely solidly positive. Once the weather improves, we expect a boost from pent-up demand (given the stable/replenishment nature of children's clothing) that will likely disproportionately benefit outdoor stores (which have been weak)."