• Q4 profit of US$600,000 versus $3.2m 
  • Net sales fall 2.6% to $200.3m from $205.7m 
  • Comparable store sales edge down 2.5%

A drop in sales during the fourth quarter has led to an 81% slump in profit at value footwear retailer Shoe Carnival.

President and CEO Cliff Sifford said: "Unfavorable weather in the fourth quarter negatively impacted our customer traffic, and consequently, our sales and earnings results. In particular, robust traffic and sales in November were followed by significant declines in traffic and sales in December and January."

For the full year, profit declined 8.2% to $26.9m from $29.3m in the prior year period, while net sales reached $884.8m, up 3.5% over last year's $855m.

"Despite this tough sales environment, we ended fiscal 2013 with inventories in excellent shape and believe we are well positioned with the right assortment of family footwear at the right price to capitalise on the Easter selling season," Sifford added. 

The company expects first-quarter earnings per share to range from $0.45 to $0.52, compared to $0.47 in the same period of last year. Net sales are forecast to be between $232m and $241m against $232.3m in fiscal 2013.