• Q2 losses from continuing operations narrowed to US$50m
  • Sales fell 6.5% to $337m
  • Comparable sales up 13%

Fifth & Pacific has managed to narrow its losses from continuing operations during the second half, helped by strong sales growth at the Kate Spade brand.

The company, which recently changed its name from Liz Claiborne Inc, said losses from continuing operations narrowed to US$50m from $54m last year. On a reported basis, net losses narrowed to US$52.1m from $89.8m the year before.

Sales fell 6.5% during the second quarter to $337m. On a comparable basis, sales rose 13%, excluding the $62m in net sales associated with the brands that have been sold or exited over the past year.

Kate Spade recorded the strongest sales gain, up 34%, while Lucky Brand recorded 8% sales growth. However, Juicy Couture saw sales decline 9%, which the company attributed to poor inventory management.

Over the half-year, losses from continuing operations narrowed to $101m, against a $107m loss in the same period of 2011. Sales fell 5.3% to $654m. On a comparable basis, sales rose 13.1%.

"Looking at the performance during the quarter of our three global lifestyle brands - Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand and Kate Spade - we were very pleased with the results at Kate and Lucky, where performance exceeded our expectations, while performance at Juicy was below our expectation," said CEO William McComb.

"Kate Spade had another strong quarter, posting a 34% increase in direct to consumer comparable sales, driven by strong performance across all categories.

"At Lucky Brand, direct-to-consumer comparable sales increased 8% in the quarter. Lucky's strong full price selling in the quarter drove direct-to-consumer gross margin improvement in excess of 700 basis points compared to last year."