Financial reports: PPR, Amazon, Delia’s, Dell, and more

PPR’s U.S. Sales Down 15% in November and December

Paris–French retail giant Pinault Printemps Redoute (PPR) said sales took a tumble during the fourth quarter of 2001, especially in the U.S. November and December sales in North America, including the Brylane catalog business, fell 15% from the same period of 2000. For all of 2001, PPR’s North American sales were 8% lower than sales in 2000. The Brylane titles include apparel books Chadwick’s of Boston, La Redoute, and Jessica London, and home accessories catalog Brylane Home.

First-time Profitability for Pair of Seattle-based Web Marketers Seattle—Finally, online superstore (Nasdaq: AMZN) posted its first-ever profit. For the three months ended Dec. 31, Amazon reported pro forma operating profit of $59 million, compared with a loss of $60 million for the fourth quarter of 2000. Pro forma net profit was $35 million, compared with a pro forma net loss of $90 million the previous fourth quarter. Fourth-quarter sales increased 15%, to $1.12 billion from $972 million last year. Net sales for the full year are expected to be up 10%.

Another Seattle online retailer, jewelry purveyor Blue Nile, also posted its first profit: a $1.1 million operating profit for the fourth quarter. The company’s annual revenue increased 10%, to $50 million. During 2001, 8.9 million people visited the Blue Nile Website, an 88% increase over 2000.

Delia’s Comfortable with Earlier Guidance; Dell Exceeds New York—Teen girls cataloger/retailer Delia’s (Nasdaq: DLIA) expects revenue for fiscal 2002 to be $165 million-$175 million, with its catalog and Website accounting for about half of that. Delia’s also expects to return to full-year profitability, with net income of $3.0 million-$3.5 million. Delia’s also expects to open 20 new stores this year. On a quarterly basis, the company is expecting a net loss of $2.9 million-$3.0 million in the first quarter and a net loss of $3.9million-$4.0 million in the second quarter. But it expects net income of $2.5 million-$2.7 million in the third quarter and of $7.5 million-$7.6 million for the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, Austin, TX-based computer giant Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) said its fiscal fourth-quarter operating results are stronger than expected, led by consumer sales, and that overall revenue and earnings for the period will exceed previous guidance. The company anticipates quarterly sales of about $8 billion, up from a projected $7.6 billion. Stable profit margins are expected to produce earnings of $0.17 per share compared with previous guidance of $0.16. Dell’s consumer business will post a 50% increase in product shipments, and worldwide company shipments in the fourth quarter will be up at a strong double-digit rate, even though the overall industry rate declined nearly 7%

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