• Q4 net loss US$10.9m, compared to $144m
  • FY net profit $82.7m, compared to $68.7m loss
  • CEO hails improved consumer focus

Footwear retailer Collective Brands saw its fourth quarter loss narrow to US$10.9m, compared to $144m last year, as an improved customer focus led to fatter margins.

The company said sales in the three months to 30 January had risen 0.9%, or 3.3% after adjustments, to $741.7m, with comparable store sales up 0.7%.

For the full year, the company posted net earnings of $82.7m, versus a net loss of $68.7m in fiscal 2008.

Sales fell 3.9%, or 1.7% after adjustments, to $3.31bn, while comparable store sales declined 2.3%.

“Our results were strong as we delivered fresh, innovative product throughout our portfolio of brands both domestically and internationally,” said Matthew Rubel, chairman, CEO and president.

“This focus on the consumer led to improved gross margins that, combined with actions that lowered operating costs, drove an 11% increase in adjusted operating profit for the year.”