Financial Reports: Bean, Coldwater, Urban Outfitters

L.L. Bean’s Annual Sales Climb 10%

(Catalog Age) Freeport, ME-based L.L. Bean reported fiscal 2003 net sales of $1.20 billion–a 10% rise from fiscal 2002 and its largest year-over-year sales increase since 1995. Bean’s previous high watermark for annual sales was $1.14 billion, in 2001.

The apparel, outdoor gear, and home goods mailer said sales in all channels were up from fiscal 2002, with L.L.Bean’s e-commerce unit posting a 26% gain and retail chipping in with a 12% gain.

L.L. Bean’s board of directors approved a cash award of 15% of annual pay to employees who had worked at least 1,000 hours in 2003. Seasonal employees received $165.00 for their efforts.

Bean credited improvements in pricing, retail merchandising, catalog marketing, and lower liquidation costs for the strong numbers. The company also said it had the best December in company history beating December 2002, the prior record, by 8%.

Retail, Not Catalogs, Propels Coldwater
Fourth-quarter and full-year earnings at Sandpoint, ID-based Coldwater Creek were buoyed by late holiday sales, continued cost controls, and better inventory management. What’s more, the women’s apparel marketer is relying more on its retail channel than on its direct business to lure customers.

Net income for the quarter ended Jan. 31 was $6.4 million, up 70% from $3.8 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2002. Net sales fell 3%, to $168.8 million from $174.2 million. Sales from the direct segment decreased 21%, to $102.4 million from $129.7 million the previous fourth quarter. Catalog net sales decreased 33%, to $52.8 million from $78.3 million. But sales from the retail division increased 49%, to $66.4 million from $44.6 million.

For the year, net income increased 59%, to $12.5 million from $7.9 million for fiscal 2002. Annual net sales increased 4%, to $518.8 million from $501.5 million.

Net sales from the direct segment decreased 12%, to $324.2 million from $367.2 million. Catalog net sales decreased 17%, to $175.9 million. Retail sales increased 45%, to $194.6 million from $134.2 million in fiscal 2002. Retail sales represented 37.5% of the company’s total net sales in fiscal 2003, compared with 26.8% in fiscal 2002. Coldwater operated 66 full-line retail stores at the end of fiscal 2003, compared with 41 fat the end of fiscal 2002.

Urban Outfitters Q4 Earnings Up 120%
Philadelphia-based Urban Outfitters (Nasdaq: URBN), which includes apparel and home decor cataloger/retailer Anthropologie, posted a 120% leap in fourth-quarter net earnings, to $18.4 million for the three months ended Jan. 31. Fourth-quarter net sales increased 50%, to a record $176.1 million. Catalog and Web sales increased 110%, to $19.7 million from $9.4 million the previous fourth quarter.

For the year, net sales increased 30% to $548.4 million. Direct sales for the year increased 61%, to $51.1 million from $31.7 million in fiscal 2002. Annual net income increased 77%, to $48.4 million from $27.4 million.

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