• Q4 loss narrows to $2.7m
  • Revenues rose 10.5% to $120.8m
  • CEO Jill Granoff leaves 

Shoe, handbag and clothing seller Kenneth Cole Productions Inc has narrowed its fourth quarter loss thanks to higher sales and merchandise margins and the closing of underperforming stores.

The New York based firm, which separately announced the departure of its chief executive officer Jill Granoff, reported a net loss of $2.7m or $0.15 per share in the three months to 31 December. This compares with a loss of $52m or $2.88 per share, a year earlier.

Quarterly revenues rose 10.5% to $120.8m, helped by an 18.9% increase in Licensing and a 1% increase in Wholesale revenues. There was also a 16% increase in Consumer Direct revenues, largely driven by a 14.1% gain in same-store sales.

Liquidation activities, however, dented gross margin, pushing this down by 330 basis points to 43.5% compared to 46.8% in the year-ago quarter.  

“We believe that our business is now positioned to take advantage of significant untapped opportunities for growth,” noted CFO David Edelman. 

“We have closed our underperforming stores, put new leadership in place and, once the near-term impact of our decision to close underperforming stores is behind us, we expect to see a financial benefit that far outweighs these short-term costs.”

For the year, Kenneth Cole Productions earned $2.1m or $0.11 per share, compared with a loss of $63.2m or $3.52 per share the year before. Full year revenues increased by 11.4% to $457.3m.