• Fourth quarter net sales increased 17.1% to $139.5m
  • Retail comparable store sales increased 7% for the fourth quarter
  • Fourth quarter net income increased 88.2% to $13.6m

Steve Madden has reported a record year for sales and earnings despite the challenging economic environment and added that it had achieved operating margin figures ahead of its target date.

The company said that full year net sales increased 10.2% to $503.6m. Net income totalled $50.1m for the year, compared to $28m in 2008.

Edward Rosenfeld, chairman and CEO said: "We are pleased with our accomplishments in 2009 as we delivered record sales and earnings and achieved our 15% operating margin goal well ahead of our 2012 target date. Steve and his team continued to stay ahead of the fashion trends, resulting in exceptional performance in our core business despite a challenging retail environment.

"In addition, we embarked upon several new business initiatives that benefited our performance in 2009 and should provide additional growth in 2010 and beyond."

Fourth quarter net sales were $139.5m compared to the $119.1m reported in the comparable period of 2008.

Net sales from the wholesale business were $98.4m compared to $79.1m in the fourth quarter of 2008, driven by strength in the Steve Madden Women's, Madden Girl, Steven by Steve Madden, and Steve Madden Men's divisions.

Retail net sales grew 2.7% to $41.1m despite a smaller store base. Same store sales increased 7%.

Gross margin improved to 44.1% from 40.4%, reflecting margin improvement in both the wholesale and retail divisions.

Net income for the quarter increased 88.2% to $13.6m

Arvind Dharia, Chief Financial Officer, commented, "We ended 2009 with a strong balance sheet driven by operating cash flow and prudent capital management."

For 2010, the company expects sales to increase 11% to 13%. Excluding the transition of one of the company's mass merchant customers from a buying agency model to a selling agency model, net sales are expected to grow 7% to 9%. Diluted EPS is expected to be in the range of $3.10 to $3.30.