Financial Reports: J. Jill, Cabela’s, NBTY

J. Jill’s Direct Business Continues to Tumble

Direct marketing sales at Hingham, MA-based women’s apparel cataloger/retailer J. Jill Group (Nasdaq: Jill) continue to plummet. Catalog sales fell a whopping 43% to $18.4 million for the quarter ended June 25, compared with $32.2 million last year. Internet sales were flat at $22.14 million, compared to $22.06 million last year.

J. Jill’s total company net sales fell 3% to $117.4 million, compared with $120.6 million last year. Net income for the quarter tumbled 40% to $3.9 million vs. $6.5 million last year. President/CEO Gordon R. Cooke attributed the results partly to the company’s ongoing merchandise transition and also to the fact the retail stores continue to cannibalize the direct business.

“Although the second quarter of 2005 was disappointing when compared to the second quarter of 2004, it turned out to be much stronger than we originally anticipated,” Cooke said in a statement. “We are currently implementing a number of initiatives to improve this business including increasing the amount of catalog-only product offerings and the density of offerings per catalog page.”

Breaking it down by segment contribution, J. Jill’s direct unit contributed $10 million during the quarter, or 32% less than the year ago quarter when the direct business contributed $14.8 million. Retail contributed 13% less, kicking in $8.1 million during the quarter compared with $9.3 million last year.

Direct Operating Income Up 26% at Cabela’s

Operating income at Cabela’s (NYSE: CAB) direct marketing unit increased 26% to $23.2 million for the quarter ended July 2, compared with $18.4 million last year. The outdoor gear marketer’s retail operating income actually fell 29% to $5.4 million, due to new store pre-opening costs. But Cabela’s Financial Services arm more than made up for the retail shortfall by contributing $17.3 million in operating income, compared with $4.0 million last year.

Total net income at Cabela’s increased 200% to $6.0 million, compared with $2.0 million last year. The company’s revenue gains were nearly as impressive: Total revenue increased 23% to $343.9 million, compared with $279.1 million last year. Direct revenue for the quarter increased 11% to $183.2 million, compared with $165.8 million last year. Retail revenue increased 13% to $109.2 million, compared to $96.4 million last year. Financial services revenue increased 103.0% to $30.4 million for the quarter.

Net Income Slips at NBTY

Bohemia, NY-based vitamin and supplements marketer NBTY (NYSE: NTY), the parent of the Puritan’s Pride vitamin catalog, is looking a little peaked. The company’s net income for the quarter ended June 30 totaled $16 million, 38% less than the $26 million it made last year. Sales increased 10% to $439 million, compared with $400 million in sales last year.

Revenue from the Puritan’s Pride unit decreased 7%, from $53 million last year to $49 million this year. The company says that the total number of orders received in the quarter stayed the same at about 664,000. But because NBTY lowered its prices, the average order fell from $75 to $69. Online sales increased 22% to $15 million, up from $12 million last year. About 30% of the total direct response sales came from online sales, compared with 23% last year.

The company says that results for the third quarter were affected by asset impairment charges of $11 million, related to its Vitamin World subsidiary. The one-time charges consisted of a write-off of $8 million of goodwill and a write-off of $3 million for leasehold improvements.

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