For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, company’s international business climbed 17.9 per cent and its domestic business gained 4.1 per cent. Fourth quarter comparable same store sales in company-owned retail stores, including e-commerce inched up 1.1 per cent, which included increase of 3.0 per cent in its international stores and 0.4 per cent in the United States.
"In 2018, our mindset was to seek new growth opportunities by comprehensively evaluating our domestic and international businesses while drilling down to specific regions and channels of distribution," said Robert Greenberg, chief executive officer of Skechers.
Gross margins increased 90 basis points to 47.7 per cent as higher domestic margins from improved retail pricing and product mix was partially offset by the negative impact of foreign currency exchange rates.
"These opportunities were across our product lines with proven styles, new designs and collaborations, and in select regions where we saw great potential. Product highlights included the resurgence of our heritage Skechers D’Lites collection, which continues to gain momentum around the world, our iconic Skechers GOwalk line, and our comfortable and easy-to-wear men’s slip-ons, among others. With the strength of our products, we remain the number one lifestyle casual, dress casual, walking and work brand in the United States. We also focused on growing our online business around the world—improving the functionality of our ecommerce sites in the United States and China, and launching an ecommerce platform in India, while also increasing our global retail footprint, ending 2018 with 2,998 Skechers company-owned and third party-owned stores. Additionally, we began delivering Spring 2019 product with the relevant marketing support, and we also started our Fall/Winter 2019 meetings with key accounts. We are looking forward to what we believe will be a new first quarter sales record," explained Greenberg.
For the first quarter of 2019, the company believes it will achieve sales in the range of $1.275 billion to $1.300 billion, and diluted earnings per share of $0.70 to $0.75. These amounts include the impact of existing foreign exchange rates and a shift in some sales between the first quarter and second quarter due to the timing of Easter in late April 2019. The company expects that its annual effective tax rate in 2019 will be in the range of 14 per cent to 18 per cent.
"2018 was a year of record sales—our first fourth quarter of over a billion dollars and, combined with three previous record quarters, a new annual sales record of $4.64 billion," stated David Weinberg, chief operating officer of Skechers. "For the quarter, this growth was fueled by double-digit sales increases in each of our international businesses—company-owned retail, distributor, subsidiary and joint venture, and by single digit sales increases in both our domestic wholesale and retail businesses. For the year, we achieved double-digit sales increases across our international portfolio and single-digit sales increases in our total domestic business. In 2018, we also shipped a record number of pairs from our distribution centers across South America, North America, Japan and Europe, which is a testament to the strength of our global operations and the breadth of our international sales, which represented 54.0 per cent of our total business for the year." (RR)
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