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Strong sales at Hat World drive Q4 earnings of Genesco
05
Mar '10
Genesco Inc. reported earnings from continuing operations for the fourth quarter ended January 30, 2010, of $25.8 million, or $1.08 per diluted share, compared to earnings from continuing operations of $23.2 million, or $1.05 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter ended January 31, 2009. Fiscal 2010 fourth quarter earnings reflected charges of $0.08 per diluted share, including asset impairments, loss on early retirement of debt and tax rate adjustments, partially offset by a gain related to other legal matters.

Fiscal 2009 fourth quarter earnings reflected charges of $0.01 per diluted share, including asset impairments, store closing costs and final expenses related to a terminated merger agreement, offset by a gain on a lease termination transaction and tax rate adjustments. In addition, Fiscal 2009 earnings also included a restatement of interest expense required by the adoption of APB 14-1, which required retroactive application resulting in additional interest costs.

Adjusted for the listed items in both periods, earnings from continuing operations were $27.7 million, or $1.16 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2010, compared to earnings from continuing operations of $23.9 million, or $1.06 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2009. For consistency with Fiscal 2010's previously announced earnings expectations, which did not reflect the listed items, the Company believes that disclosure of earnings from continuing operations adjusted for those items will be useful to investors. A reconciliation of the adjusted financial measures to their corresponding measures as reported pursuant to U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles is included in Schedule B to this press release.

Net sales for the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2010 increased 6% to $479 million from $452 million in the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2009. Comparable store sales in the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2010 were flat with a year ago. Comparable store sales in the Hat World Group increased by 6%, the Journeys Group decreased by 3%, Underground Station decreased by 2%, and Johnston & Murphy Retail increased by 2%.

Robert J. Dennis, president and chief executive officer of Genesco, said, "Our fourth quarter earnings exceeded expectations, driven by strong sales at Hat World and our direct-to-consumer catalog and e-commerce businesses combined with higher gross margins for the Company and well managed expenses across all our divisions. This performance caps a year in which, despite a challenging retail environment, we generated almost $100 million in cash flow from operations and paid down all $32 million of our outstanding bank debt, to end with $82 million in cash and no debt.

"As we begin the new fiscal year, all of our businesses are performing above their fourth quarter comparable sales, with positive comparable store sales across the board. For February, comparable sales increased 10% for the Hat World Group, 4% for the Journeys Group, 13% for Underground Station, 4% for Johnston & Murphy Retail and 6% for the total Company. Including the 17% comparable sales increase for the direct businesses, the Company's comparable sales for February increased 7%.

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