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Bakers Footwear reports Q4 and fiscal 2008 results
16
Apr '09
Bakers Footwear Group Inc, a leading specialty retailer of moderately priced fashion footwear for young women, with 240 stores, announced results for the thirteen weeks and fifty-two weeks ended January 31, 2009.

For the fourth quarter, the thirteen weeks ended January 31, 2009:
• Net sales were $55.5 million, an increase of 1.3% from $54.7 million for the thirteen-week period ended February 2, 2008;
• Comparable store sales increased 3.6%, compared to a decrease of 6.8% in the prior-year period;
• Gross profit was $17.4 million, or 31.4% of net sales, compared to $19.4 million, or 35.4% of net sales in the fourth quarter last year;
• Operating income was $1.3 million, or 2.3% of net sales, compared to $7.8 million, or 14.2% of net sales in the fourth quarter last year which included a gain of $4.8 million from the early termination of an operating lease; and
• Net income was $0.5 million or $0.07 per diluted share, compared to $7.3 million, or $1.03 per diluted share in the fourth quarter last year which included a gain of $4.8 million or $0.67 per diluted share from the early termination of an operating lease.

For the first ten weeks of fiscal 2009 ended April 11, 2009, net sales increased 5.9% to $34.0 million, reflecting a comparable store sales increase of 7.5% compared to the same period last year. Because of the calendar shift of the Easter holiday from March last year into April this year, the Company believes comparing the six-week period from March 1, 2009 to April 11, 2009, to the six-week period from March 2, 2008 to April 12, 2008, is a more meaningful measure of sales performance than comparing sales for fiscal March, as the six-week periods reflect pre-Easter sales in both years. For the six-week period ended April 11, 2009, net sales increased 2.9% to $20.1 million, reflecting a comparable store sales increase of 4.2%.

Peter Edison, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bakers Footwear Group commented, “We are pleased to report positive operating performance in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 that included a 3.6% increase in comparable store sales, an operating profit and net income. Our performance, however, came in below our expectations at the beginning of the quarter due to the highly promotional retail environment that began in mid-December in response to sluggish holiday sales. We proactively capitalized on the increase in mall traffic during the holiday season by increasing promotional levels to end the year in a strong inventory position for spring selling.”

“As we begin fiscal 2009, we remain positive about our business prospects, as our focus on delivering great fashion while maintaining prudent control of inventory and expenses is expected to enable us to continue to achieve positive comparable store sales and improved margins,” Mr. Edison continued. “For the first ten weeks of fiscal 2009, comparable store sales increased 7.5% with particular strengthin open toe styles, which are selling briskly at regular price. Looking ahead, we expect our positive comparable store sales trends to continue given the increasing importance of our opened-up footwear category to the total sales mix of our business as the spring and summer selling season progresses. We will continue to maintain our financial discipline and believe we are positioned to generate improved operating results in fiscal 2009.”


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