• Q4 profit down 20% to $33.5m
  • Sales slipped 3% to $442.7m
  • Company said year was "challenging" 

US sportswear retailer Finish Line has posted a 20% decline in fourth-quarter net profit because of a drop in sales and weaknesses at its running business.

The Indianapolis-based company today (28 March) said net income reached US$33.5m for the 13 weeks to 2 March, compared to $41.9m the same period last year.

Sales slipped 3% to $442.7m from $456.3m the prior year, while comparable store sales climbed 0.7%. 

Over the full year, net income declined 18.4% to $69.2m from $84.8m last year. Sales rose 5.4% to $1.44bn over $1.37bn last year.

"While our fourth quarter performance was in-line with expectations, it was a challenging second half of the year for us," said chairman and chief executive officer Glenn Lyon. "We experienced weakness in our running business at Finish Line and adjusted our operating platform and expenses to meet those market dynamics.

"Moving forward, we remain committed to our growth strategies and the investments required for our Finish Line, Macy's and The Running Company businesses to drive long-term shareholder value. We are steadfast in our belief that technology will continue to drive broad changes in the retail landscape as we transform into a premier omni-channel retailer."

For the fiscal year ending 1 March 2014, Finish Line expects earnings per share to increase mid-single digit percent over fiscal year 2013 and forecasts comparable store sales to be up slightly.