Nautica Enterprises Inc today announced an increase in second quarter net sales of 17.5 per cent to nearly $200m.

Figures released by the US-based firm, which designs and markets garments under brands such as Nautica Sport Tech and John Varvatos, revealed sales increased from $169.6m in the second quarter of last year to £199.3m in the same period during 2001.

Operating income for the period was $14.5m compared to $21m in the same period last year with the results reflecting one-time costs and additional reserves related to Nautica Europe of approximately $6.2m after tax, or $0.18 per diluted share.

Net earnings for the quarter were $8.9m, or $0.26 per diluted share, compared to $13.4m, or $0.41 per diluted share, in the prior year period, reflecting the above mentioned Nautica Europe costs and reserves, as well as additional expenses related to the continued roll-out and integration of new businesses and costs related to the build-out of the company's new distribution facility.

Commenting on the second quarter results, Harvey Sanders, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said: "We are encouraged by our sales increase during the quarter, which was achieved despite an exceptionally challenging retail environment.

"As a whole, excluding Nautica Europe, our businesses performed to plan, with particular strength in men's and women's jeans, men's and women's sleepwear, Earl Jean, children's wear, and John Varvatos.

"In addition, due to strong regular-price selling, continued improvements in our sourcing capabilities, and the integration of higher margin categories, specifically Earl Jean, gross margin increased 50 basis points.

"While we are disappointed with the higher than anticipated one-time charges relating to receivables and inventory in Nautica Europe, we believe we have implemented the necessary controls, including putting the right financial management team in place, to avoid any further impact on profitability going forward."


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