• FY net sales up 24.4%
  • Swings to $305.7m loss
  • Mexx business in Europe posted a meaningful loss

Liz Claiborne today (23 February) revealed narrowed losses for its full-year despite declining sales revenues, which were hit by weakness at its European Mexx business.

Losses in the 12 months to 3 January were $305.7m or $3.26 per share, down from $951.8m or $10.17 per share a year earlier.

Net sales for the full-year were US$3.012bn, a decrease of 24.4% on the same period last year.

For the fourth quarter, losses narrowed to $41.7m or $0.45 a share, from $828.9m or $8.85 a share, a year earlier.

Excluding costs of streamlining its business, exiting certain brands and asset impairment charges, fourth-quarter loss would have been $0.18 cents a share, the company said.

Net sales for the quarter were $779m, 14.5% down on the comparable 2008 period.

William L McComb, CEO said: "Our financial results in the fourth quarter reflect progress in our domestic-based direct brands, evidenced by the improvement in comparable store sales trends and gross margins at Kate Spade, Juicy Couture and Lucky Brand Jeans - resulting in a profitable quarter for this business segment.

"In contrast, the Mexx business in Europe posted a meaningful loss during the quarter. We are pleased that a new management team has hit the ground running at Mexx, and is quickly addressing core product and other operational issues that are causing this loss."

McComb concluded: "Although operating results will remain challenging at Mexx Europe through most of 2010, we remain optimistic that CEO Thomas Grote and his new management team will successfully execute the turnaround strategy."

Click here to view the company's full trading statement.