Financial Reports: Delia’s, Blyth

Delia’s Narrows Loss on 12% Sales Growth
Third-quarter sales at cataloger/retailer Delia’s increased 12%, to $67.5 million for the three months ended Oct. 28. The New York-based company also narrowed its loss from $4.2 million a year ago to $3.1 million.

Sales for the direct segment–the catalogs and Websites of teen girls apparel brands Delia’s and Alloy and extreme-sports gear merchant CCS—rose nearly 5%, to $41.7 million from $39.9 million for the comparable quarter of last year. Gross profit in the direct segment was 47.4% of net sales for the quarter, an increase of 120 basis points. Income from operations in the direct segment was $3.5 million during the third quarter, up from $2.1 million a year ago.

Sales from the Delia’s stores increased 26%, to $25.9 million from $20.5 million a year ago. But comparable-store sales tumbled more than 18%. The retail segment reported income from operations of $100,000, compared with a loss of $200,000 the previous third quarter.

Blyth Posts Third-Quarter Loss
Third-quarter sales catalog and Internet division of Greenwich, CT-based Blyth rose 2%, to $52.7 million for the three months ended Oct. 31. The sales growth resulted from the Walter Drake general merchandise catalog and Website and its Easy Comforts health and wellness spin-off brand, as well as from coffee mailer Boca Java, which it acquired in the third quarter of last year. Blyth’s other catalogs include gifts and housewares book Miles Kimball, photo accessories title Exposures, and housewares catalog Home Marketplace.

But overall third-quarter sales for Greenwich, CT-based Blyth declined 9%, to $279.9 million from $328.5 million last year. Blyth’s primary business is manufacturing/marketing scented candles and other home decor products. What’s more, the company lost $221,000 for the quarter, a turnaround from the net income of $23.0 million posted a year ago. The results included $5.2 million in restructuring charges and $2.2 million in losses on the and discontinued operations of Blyth’s European wholesale business.

“Fiscal year 2007 continues to be very challenging for Blyth,” CEO Robert Goergen said in a release. “While we are disappointed in our third-quarter operating performance, numerous initiatives are under way across the company that we believe are setting the stage for improved results in the future.” Regarding the catalog and Internet division, he said, “New management continues to make good progress in stabilizing core catalog titles and introducing new growth initiatives.”

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