Financial Reports: Systemax, J. Jill

Systemax Reports 1Q Sales, Earnings Increases

While decreasing gross margins remained an industrywide problem, reduced spending and stringent cost controls enabled manufacturer/marketer Systemax (NYSE: SYX) to increase income from operations. The computer and industrial supplies cataloger posted a 3% increase in first-quarter net sales, to $426.5 million for the three months ended March 31.

Net income for the Port Washington, NY-based company totaled $5.0 million, compared with income before the cumulative effect of the change in accounting for goodwill of $585,000 a year ago. The cumulative effect of the change in accounting for goodwill in last year’s first quarter was a write-off of $51 million, net of tax, resulting in a net loss of $50.4 million.

Net Income Tumbles 72% at J. Jill Though net sales at women’s apparel marketer J. Jill Group(Nasdaq: Jill) increased 12% for the quarter ended March 29, the cataloger/retailer was unable to translate those sales into bottom-line gains. Net sales totaled $82.4 million, compared with $73.4 million for the fiscal third quarter of last year. Net income for the Quincy, MA-based company fell 72%, to $768,000 from $2.7 million last year.

Third-quarter catalog sales decreased 10%, to $33.8 million from $37.5 million. E-commerce sales, however, increased to $17.3 million from $13.7 million. During the quarter, 38% of J. Jill’s sales came from retail, 21% from e-commerce and 41% from its catalog business.

“As we have previously indicated, to address the internal challenges of transitioning from a single-channel to a multi-channel retailer, we continue to make certain key infrastructure investments that we believe will help us deliver long-term growth and increased shareholder value,” president/CEO Gordon Cooke said in a statement. “Specifically, we continue to make progress in improving and streamlining our product development, sourcing, and design process; in creating an enterprise-wide customer database; and in enhancing the processes within our retail segment.”

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