• Q4 earnings drop to $7.4m
  • Sales fall 2%
  • Comparable sales drop 2.1%

Off-price fashion retailer Stein Mart Inc has booked a drop in fourth-quarter earnings on the back of lower revenues and one-time charges.

In the three months ended 1 February, net income amounted to US$7.4m. This compared to earnings of $13.5m a year earlier.

Results included a $3.1m charge after-tax related to a decrease in inventories. Excluding charges, net income amounted to $13.1m from $12.3m in the year ago quarter.

Sales were down 2% to $360.8m, while comparable store sales dropped 3.1%.

Nonetheless, CEO Jay Stein said he was "very pleased" with the results. "We improved our business in 2013 through a number of key initiatives, including enhancing our merchandise and brands, launching our online store, more effective marketing, taking our supply chain distribution centers in-house and growing our credit card programme.

"For 2014, we will continue to build upon these achievements, while initiating our most aggressive store opening plan in more than ten years with 16 new and relocated stores, to even better serve our customers and grow returns for our investors," he said.