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R.G. Barry Corporation affirms optimism for FY2009
31
Jan '09
Accessory footwear marketer R.G. Barry Corporation reported a 48.2 percent increase in net earnings on a 26.7 percent increase in net sales for its second quarter, ended December 27, 2008.

For the second quarter, which included the 2008 holiday shopping period, the Company reported: Net earnings of $6.1 million, or $0.57 per basic share and $0.56 per diluted share, compared to $4.1 million, or $0.39 per basic share and $0.38 per diluted share, in the second quarter of fiscal 2008; Net sales of $48.9 million compared to $38.6 million reported for the corresponding period of fiscal 2008; Gross profit as a percent of sales in the quarter was 39.5 percent versus 40.8 percent in the comparable quarter of fiscal 2008; and Selling, general and administrative expenses of $9.7 million, a 3.5 percent increase over the equivalent period of fiscal 2008, which included $336,000 in bad debt related to customer bankruptcy and liquidation actions.

For the first half, the Company reported: Net earnings of $7.2 million, or $0.67 per basic and diluted share, versus net earnings of $7.8 million, or $0.75 per basic share and $0.74 per diluted share, in the comparable period one year ago; Net sales rose 5.4 percent to $74.5 million versus $70.7 million in the first half one year ago; Gross profit as a percent of sales at 39.5 percent compared to 42.2 percent in the comparable period of fiscal 2008; and Selling, general and administrative expenses of $18.3 million versus $17.6 million in the equivalent period last year.

The Company's balance sheet also reflects growing financial health. Cash and short-term investments increased to $27.9 million, up $3.7 million from one year ago. Year-over-year inventory levels were up approximately 3.5 percent at $14.9 million; and Net shareholders' equity increased to $53.6 million from $44.1 million one year ago.

Management Comments
“Considering the very difficult and highly promotional 2008 retail environment, our second quarter performance was exceptionally good,” said Greg Tunney, President and Chief Executive Officer.“Footwear consumer staples such as slippers are historically viewed as attractive, affordable gifts, even when economic times are tough. Based upon our brands' healthy performances across many retail channels during Christmas 2008, that premise remains valid."

“The impact from shifts in the timing of some holiday shipments to retailers that negatively influenced our first quarter was, as expected, reversed in the second quarter. We knew that margins were going to be tough in fiscal 2009 and took actions with our suppliers and customers to address this issue long-term."

“We are continuing our search for category-appropriate acquisitions that can add meaningfully to our top line, are accretive to earnings and can further balance out the seasonal and demographic aspects of our business model. We are seeing a growing number of opportunities that make sensefrom both a business and fiscal perspective,” he said.


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