• Q4 earnings grow to US$12.3m
  • Total sales grew 7.3%
  • Gross margin narrows to 29.4%

Off-price fashion retailer Stein Mart said it has recovered from a second half that was negatively impacted by poor weather to record a “strong” fourth-quarter of sales and earnings growth.

Earnings amounted to US$12.3m in the three months to the end of January, from $7.4m a year earlier.

Total sales grew 7.3% to $387.m, compared to $360.8m in 2013, while comparable store sales for the quarter increased 5.6% on top of last year's increase of 3.1%.

Gross margin, however, narrowed to 29.4% of sales, primarily due to lower e-commerce margins which include third party fulfilment costs.

"We were delighted with our strong finish to 2014 which included a two percent increase in traffic in the fourth quarter. Our solid second half sales performance … was a great recovery from the first half which was negatively influenced by severe weather," said CEO Jay Stein.