• H1 profit declined 13.6% to $11.4m
  • Sales down 9.5% to $95.7m
  • Gross margin improves to 43.3%

Footwear and accessories maker RG Barry has today (5 February) reported that its first-half profit fell 13.6% on the back of declining footwear sales - but said its performance was in line with its expectations.

Net earnings declined to US$11.4m for the six months to 29 December from $13.2m the same period the prior year.

Sales slipped 9.5% to $95.7m, compared to $105.8m the year before. Gross margin improved to 43.3%, up from 42.8% the prior year.

Footwear sales dropped 13.7% to $77.8m due to reductions in certain seasonal programmes and soft trading in some retail channels. Accessories sales, however, increased 14.1% to $18m from $15.7m the prior year.

President and CEO Greg Tunney said: "We expect to finish our year among the best-performing companies in our category, but fiscal 2013 will be the first time in seven years that we have not posted top-line growth.

"Our decision to exit certain seasonal footwear programs, the elimination of a key men's slipper program and general retail softness in our replenishment footwear business all will negatively impact our overall annual performance to a greater extent than we originally envisioned."

The company expects its accessories business to meet or exceed its growth expectations for the year, but said these gains will only partially offset forecasted declines in footwear.

"While we are disappointed by these short-term issues, our approach to operating this business remains laser-focused on the future.

"We are committed to our strategies and confident that they will, over time, generate continuing innovation, efficiency, growth and profitability for our consumers, customers and shareholders," Tunney added.