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Strong sales of athletic & toning footwear at Shoe Carnival
04
Jun '10
Shoe Carnival, Inc., a leading retailer of value-priced footwear and accessories, announced sales and earnings for the first quarter ended May 1, 2010.

Net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 increased 13.3 percent to $189.5 million compared to net sales of $167.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2009. Comparable store sales increased 13.1 percent.

Net earnings for the thirteen-week first quarter increased 124 percent to $9.2 million compared to $4.1 million in the thirteen-week first quarter ended May 2, 2009. Diluted earnings per share for the quarter increased to $0.72 from $0.33 in the prior year first quarter.

The gross profit margin for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 increased to 31.3 percent compared to 27.9 percent for the first quarter of fiscal 2009. The merchandise margin increased 2.2 percent due to significantly reduced promotional activity combined with strong sales of athletic and toning footwear compared to the prior year. The Company's buying, distribution and occupancy costs decreased 1.2 percent, as a percentage of sales, due to the strong sales results.

Selling, general and administrative expenses for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 increased $4.2 million to $44.3 million, primarily as a result of increases in incentive compensation associated with the Company's improved financial performance. As a percentage of sales, these expenses decreased to 23.4 percent compared to 24.0 percent in the first quarter of fiscal 2009.

Speaking on the results, Mark Lemond, president and chief executive officer said, "I am pleased to report we were able to take advantage of consumer demand resulting in a sales increase in each broad merchandise category. While toning and athletic footwear were key drivers of our sales in the quarter, our non-athletic footwear contributed approximately half of our comparable store sales increase. The record quarterly comparable store sales increase, combined with a higher gross profit margin and controlled expenses enabled us to report the strongest quarterly earnings in the Company's history."

Mr. Lemond continued, "Our continued strong financial performance gives us the confidence to remain optimistic about our outlook for the summer and back-to-school season. We will continue to manage the controllable aspects of our business for long-term growth and free cash flow generation."

Second Quarter Fiscal 2010 Earnings Outlook
The Company expects second quarter net sales to be in the range of $165 to $168 million and comparable store sales to increase in the range of 8 to 10 percent. Earnings per diluted share in the second quarter of fiscal 2010 are expected to be in the range of $0.23 to $0.27. Earnings per diluted share in the second quarter of fiscal 2009 were $0.08.

Store Growth
The Company expects to open 10 new stores and close seven stores in fiscal 2010. Three new stores were opened during the first quarter of 2010 and three stores were closed.

Shoe Carnival is a chain of 311 footwear stores located in the Midwest, South and Southeast. Combining value pricing with an entertaining store format, Shoe Carnival is a leading retailer of name brand and private label footwear for the entire family. Headquartered in Evansville, IN, Shoe Carnival trades on The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC under the symbol SCVL.

Shoe Carnival, Inc

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