• Fouth-quarter net income declined to US$3.3m
  • Sales rose 1.1% to $181.9m
  • Full-year net income fell to $26.4m
  • Sales increased 3.2% to $762.5m

Shoe Carnival saw fourth-quarter net earnings decline as gross margin fell over the period.

The company said yesterday (21 March) that net earnings for the quarter ended 28 January declined to US$3.3m against $4.4m in the same period of the previous year. Gross margin fell to 28.3% from 30%. Net sales rose 1.1% to $181.9m, despite comparable store sales falling 3%.

For the full-year, net income declined to $26.4m from $26.8m in the same period of the previous year. Net sales rose 3.2% to $762.5m on the back of a 0.7% comparable-store sales rise. Gross profit margin declined to 29.5% from 30% in the previous year.

"While toning footwear and boots were key drivers of our sales for 2010, sales of this footwear declined substantially in 2011," said president and CEO Mark Lemond.

"Toning footwear experienced a year long decline in popularity while the sale of fall product never materialized with the same strength as last year. However, I am very pleased with our ability to manage our inventories and control our costs despite the challenges presented by these changes in consumer demand. We achieved $1.97 in earnings per diluted share for 2011, which is second only to the record $2.05 in earnings per diluted share achieved last year."

The company plans to open around 30 new stores, relocate 10 outlets and close five stores during fiscal 2012.