• Q4 profit jumped 38% to $33m
  • Sales increased 12.8% to $315.5m
  • Company CEO "pleased" with strong results 

Footwear and accessories maker Steve Madden has posted a 38% increase in fourth-quarter profit, helped by rising sales of merchandise under its namesake brand and a benefit related to the bankruptcy of Betsey Johnson.

Net income reached US$33m over the three months ended 31 December, compared with $23.8m the year before.

The company today (26 February) said net income includes a $1m benefit related to the bankruptcy of women's wear label Betsey Johnson. On an after-tax basis, the benefit positively impacted fourth-quarter net income by $600,000.

Sales increased 12.8% to $315.5m from $279.8m the prior year, while retail comparable store sales climbed 5.9%. Gross margin improved to 39.3% from 35.5% the same period a year before.

Net sales from the wholesale business grew 9.4% to $247.2m, up from $225.9m in the fourth quarter of 2011. The increase was driven by strong growth in the Steve Madden footwear and handbag divisions, as well as the benefit from the acquisition of SM Canada.

Retail net sales rose 27% to $68.3m, compared to $53.8m the prior year.

During the quarter, the company opened six Steve Madden full-price stores, three Steve Madden outlet stores and one Betsey Johnson e-commerce store, taking the total number of company-operated stores to 109.

Full-year net income increased 23% to $119.6m, compared with $97.3m the previous year. Net sales jumped 26.7% to $1.2bn from $968.5m in the comparable period the year before.

Company chairman and CEO Edward Rosenfeld said: "We are pleased to have delivered strong results in the fourth quarter, capping off an outstanding year for the company. Our flagship Steve Madden brand was the key driver in the quarter, with robust growth across categories, channels and geographies.

"The strength in our flagship brand, combined with the opportunities we have with our newer brands, gives us confidence that we can continue to drive sales and earnings growth as we move ahead."

Looking ahead, Steve Madden expects diluted earnings per share to range from $2.95 to $3.05, while net sales are set to increase 6-8%.