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Footwear maker Brown Shoe profit jumps 56% in 2005

Mar '06
Footwear manufacturer Brown Shoe Company Inc announced net earnings were up more than 50 percent on record sales for its fourth quarter of fiscal 2005, ended January 28th 2006.

For the fourth quarter, net sales rose 25.8 percent to $599.6 million, from $476.5 million in the year-ago quarter. Net earnings rose 56.4 percent to $13.4 million compared with net earnings of $8.5 million in 2004.

"We had a terrific year. Momentum built with each quarter as our wholesale and retail initiatives produced strong results for our company," said Ron Fromm, Chairman and CEO.

The net sales for the 52 weeks of fiscal 2005 rose 18.0 percent to a record $2.3 billion, compared to $1.9 billion the year before. For fiscal 2005, Brown Shoe net earnings were $41.0 million compared to $43.3 million in fiscal 2004.

Earnings for fiscal 2005 include $21.9 million of charges related to the company's closing of underperforming Naturalizer stores, financing its Bennett acquisition and the repatriation of foreign cash.

For the fourth quarter, Famous Footwear net sales increased 8.0 percent to $284.1 million from $263.1 million a year ago. Same-store sales were positive in all major categories, led by juniors' and women's fashion footwear and kids' non-athletic footwear; athletics were up slightly.

For fiscal 2005, Famous Footwear sales increased 6.3 percent to $1.2 billion from $1.1 billion in 2004. Same-store sales increased 2.5 percent.

"We achieved a record year at Famous Footwear," said Fromm. "The Famous Footwear management team did an outstanding job of execution, driving double- digit operating earnings gains through improved product assortments, good inventory management and expense control, and the effective use of themed marketing (across our advertising, in-store, and in our direct-to-customer pieces). As a result, our traffic levels were up every quarter versus last year, as customers responded well to our offerings."

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