Footwear, handbag, and accessory retailer Kenneth Cole Productions Inc today announced net revenues for the fourth quarter ended 31 December 2001 were $100 million versus the year-ago level of $110 million. Fully diluted earnings per share for the fourth quarter were $0.11, versus the year-ago level of $0.52.

Wholesale revenues for the fourth quarter were $43.1 million versus $50.0 million last year, and consumer direct revenues during the fourth quarter were $51.8 million against $54.0 million last year.

Comparable store sales for the fourth quarter were 18 per cent below the year-ago level. However, consumer direct inventories were also down 18.0 per cent to $18.2 million and wholesale inventories were down 37.8 per cent to $12.6 million.

Consolidated inventories on 31 December 2001 were down 27.4 per cent to $30.8 million versus the year-ago level of $42.4 million. Licensing revenue for the fourth quarter was $5.1 million versus $5.9 million in the year-ago quarter.

Net revenues for the year ended 31 December 2001 were $386.2 million versus the fiscal 2000 level of $406.3 million. Wholesale revenues for the fiscal year decreased 16.2 per cent to $198.1 million from $236.5 million. Sales growth due to increased square footage was partially offset by a full year comparable store sales decline of 12 per cent.

The company said it expects to achieve earnings per share for 2002 in the range of $0.88 to $0.92 - an improvement on its earlier guidance of $0.81 to $0.87.

Kenneth Cole, chairman and chief executive officer, said the company was "in an excellent position to rebound as the market environment improves. Each of our three brands is performing well at retail and we are continuing to develop some exciting new business initiatives, especially in our licensing and international division.

"There is a heightened demand for our brands in overseas markets and, consequently, we have become more aggressive in developing various international opportunities, beginning with recently signed licensing deals in Central and South America as well as in South Korea."