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Gross profit margins up at Liz Claiborne
14
Nov '11
Liz Claiborne Inc. announced earnings for the third quarter of 2011. For the third quarter of 2011 on a GAAP basis, income from continuing operations was $2 million, or $0.02 per share, compared to a loss from continuing operations of ($42) million, or ($0.45) per share, for the third quarter of 2010.

Adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations for the third quarter was $0.05, compared to an adjusted loss per share from continuing operations of ($0.16) for the third quarter of 2010 (inclusive of gains of $0.11 per share in the third quarter of 2011 and losses of ($0.18) per share in the third quarter of 2010, primarily resulting from the impact of changes in foreign currency exchange rates on our eurobond).

Adjusted EBITDA for the third quarter of 2011 was $28 million, compared to $36 million for the third quarter of 2010 (excluding gains of $16 million in the third quarter of 2011 and losses of ($28) million in the third quarter of 2010, primarily resulting from the impact of changes in foreign currency exchange rates on our eurobond).

Net sales for the third quarter were $398 million, a decrease of $40 million, or 9.1%, from the comparable 2010 period. Excluding the impact of a $31 million decrease in net sales of brands that have been licensed or exited, a significant portion of which was associated with our Axcess brand and our Liz Claiborne family of brands as we transitioned to the licensing model under the arrangements with JCPenney in the US and Puerto Rico and with QVC, net sales decreased $9 million, or 1.9%.

For the first nine months of 2011, the Company recorded a loss from continuing operations of ($108) million, or ($1.14) per share, compared to a loss from continuing operations for the first nine months of 2010 of ($115) million, or ($1.22) per share. Adjusted loss per share from continuing operations in the first nine months of 2011 was ($0.45) compared to an adjusted loss per share from continuing operations of ($0.27) in the first nine months of 2010 (inclusive of (losses) of ($0.07) per share in the first nine months of 2011 and gains of $0.07 per share in the first nine months of 2010, primarily resulting from the impact of changes in foreign currency exchange rates on our eurobond).

Net sales for the first nine months of 2011 were approximately $1.116 billion, a decrease of $92 million, or 7.6%, from the comparable 2010 period. Excluding the impact of a $126 million decline in net sales related to brands that have been licensed or exited, a significant portion of which was associated with a decrease in sales of our Liz Claiborne family of brands as we transitioned to the licensing model under the arrangements with JCPenney in the US and Puerto Rico and with QVC, net sales increased $34 million, or 2.8%.

William L. McComb, Chief Executive Officer of Liz Claiborne Inc., said: "Pro-forma adjusted EBITDA, excluding foreign currency transaction gains, of $23 millionin the third quarter was in line with the outlook we provided on our mid-October conference call. We continue to forecast pro-forma adjusted EBITDA, excluding foreign currency transaction gains or losses, in the range of $80 to $90 million for fiscal 2011 and expect year end net debt to be in the range of $270 to $290 million. For fiscal 2012, we continue to forecast adjusted EBITDA, excluding foreign currency transaction gains or losses, in the range of $130 to $150 million."

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