• Q4 net sales grow 6.3%
  • Net profit drops to $40.4m
CEO Glenn Lyon said the quarter represented a “solid finish to a disappointing year”

CEO Glenn Lyon said the quarter represented a “solid finish to a disappointing year”

The Finish Line has managed to "accelerate somewhat", analysts believe, in the final lap of its fiscal year, despite a disappointing year for the US athletic apparel and footwear retailer.

Consolidated net sales in the three months to the end of February were up 6.3% to US$551.3m, while comparable store sales increased 2.6%.

Net profit, however dropped slightly to $40.4m in the quarter, from $42.7m in the prior year period.

CEO Glenn Lyon said the quarter represented a "solid finish to a disappointing year".

"We quickly reduced expenses and gained better leverage to deliver earnings ahead of plan. At the same time, we made progress rebalancing our inventory to better align with customer demand. While there is still work to be done to achieve operational excellence throughout the company, we have a sound plan in place to improve profitability and continue our long track record of returning increased value to our shareholders."

For the full year, earnings grew 6.1% to $79.7m, while sales reached a record $1.82bn, an increase of 9% over the prior year. Comparable store sales were up 3.2%.

Neil Saunders, CEO of Conlumino, noted: "In the final lap of its fiscal year, Finish Line has managed to accelerate somewhat after a rather lackluster performance over previous quarters. On the surface, sales numbers do not look too bad, but rivals Footlocker and Dick’s are away out ahead with comparable final quarter sales growth of 10.1% and 3.4% respectively.

Nonetheless, he added: "Finish Line is successful in attracting the more casual sports shopper as well as the sports fashion shopper. This is good business but is subject to much more fluctuation in demand than the professional segment of the market – a segment that is currently allowing rivals to power ahead. Addressing this in the new fiscal year is a priority and will allow Finish Line to make some gains on its rivals."

For the new fiscal year ending 27 February, Finish Line is forecasting comparable store sales to be up in the low single to mid single digit range and EPS to increase in the low single to mid single digit range.