Steven Madden, a leading designer, wholesaler and marketer of fashion footwear for women and children, today announced record financial results for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2000.

Revenues for the third quarter increased 23% to $60,108,000 compared to $48,963,000 for the third quarter of fiscal 1999. Operating income for the third quarter increased 31 per cent to $7,699,000 compared to $5,883,000 for last year. Net income for the third quarter rose 33 per cent to $4,600,000 versus net income of $3,448,000 last year. Diluted earnings per share increased 41% to $0.38 on 11,977,000 diluted weighted average shares outstanding versus diluted earnings per share of $0.27 on 12,615,000 diluted weighted average shares outstanding in 1999.

Arvind Dharia, CFO, said: "This quarter marks the seventeenth consecutive quarter in which we have exceeded our performance expectations. Our impressive sales results reinforce the fact that all of our brands continue to be well received by our customers. Additionally, gross margin increased a significant 330 basis points to 44.1 per cent versus 40.8 per cent last year. Overall, we are pleased that we continue to meet our growth objectives while also effectively managing our business."

For the nine month period ended September 30, 2000, revenues increased 34 per cent to $152,274,000 compared to $113,750,000 for the first nine months of 1999. Operating income for the nine months increased 53 per cent to $18,536,000 compared to $12,114,000 for last year. Net income for the nine months rose 60 per cent to $11,525,000 versus net income of $7,223,000 last year. Diluted earnings per share increased 51 per cent to $0.89 on 12,899,000 diluted weighted average shares outstanding versus diluted earnings per share of $0.59 on 12,271,000 diluted weighted average shares outstanding in 1999.

During the third quarter, results for the wholesale business, comprising the company's four brands, Steve Madden, Stevies, l.e.i. Footwear, and David Aaron, increased 14 per cent to $40,898,000 versus $35,877,000 for the comparable period last year. Wholesale growth was driven by increased distribution for the Steve Madden and l.e.i. brands, the addition of 200 new concept shops for the Steve Madden brand, shipments of the recently introduced Stevies brand, and strong selling of athletic inspired casuals, boots, clogs, and tailored loafers.