US: Fifth & Pacific Q4 dampened by Juicy Couture
Fifth & Pacific has admitted Superstorm Sandy and disappointing Juicy Couture sales have hit the company's fourth-quarter performance, but expects full-year EBITDA to reach the low end of its guidance.
The company, which also owns the Kate Spade and Lucky brands said it expects adjusted EBITDA to be in the range of US$63-68m, resulting in a full-year expectation of $100-105m, "which is at the low end of the range we guided previously".
CEO William McComb said the results included a $3m hit on adjusted EBITDA from Hurricane Sandy across the three brands. Juicy Couture posted "disappointing direct to consumer comparable sales and gross margins in November and December as the company tightly managed its inventory through very aggressive markdowns in response to sales softness."
Over the quarter, Kate Spade sales increased 27%, while Lucky Brand recorded a 3% rise and Juicy Couture saw sales decline 2%.
McComb remains confident of Juicy Couture's turnaround under the direction of new Juicy Couture CEO Paul Blum, whose appointment was announced at the beginning of December.
"Overall for the company, 2012 was a year of progress marked by industry leading growth at kate spade, and a significant improvement in performance at Lucky Brand -tempered however by a miss in North America caused by merchandising and other issues at Juicy Couture that we believe are now being corrected under Paul Blum's direction," said McComb.
"We anticipate reporting a year end inventory position that is in line with our plan, particularly at Juicy Couture. I am optimistic about delivering sizeable growth in 2013 at kate spade and Lucky Brand, while recognizing that the fixes at Juicy Couture will come late in 2013 and into 2014."
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