• Q4 net profit down 30.4%
  • Sales fall 5.4%
  • To sell Steele's retail division

Stage Stores said it is optimistic about its prospects for 2014, despite revealing a drop in earnings and sales for fourth-quarter.

In the three months ended 1 February, earnings totalled US$24.9m, a drop of 30.4% on last year. The decline was due to charges of $4.5m related to the company entering into an agreement for the sale of its Steele's retail division.

Sales in the period dropped 5.4% to $499.4m, while same-store sales were down 1.1%.

Nonetheless, CEO Michael Glazer, said: "We are optimistic about our prospects for 2014. The initiatives we undertook last year should drive 2014 growth. We plan on opening, expanding or relocating 40 to 50 stores, introducing additional high profile brands, rolling out more cosmetics counters and leveraging our eCommerce platform to accelerate the growth of our direct-to-consumer business."

The company expects that comparable store sales for the year, excluding Steele's, to range from flat to up 2% and adjusted EPS to be in a range of $1.35 to $1.45.