Financial reports: Talbots, Brookstone

Talbots 3Q catalog sales down, total sales up

Third-quarter net income at Hingham, MA-based apparel cataloger/retailer The Talbots (NYSE: TLB) increased 2%, to $37.4 million for the three months ended Nov. 2. Sales increased 2%, to $401.8 million from $393.9 million last year. Catalog sales decreased 9%, to $62.1 million from $68.2 million last year. Retail store sales increased 4%, to $339.7 million, but comparable store sales decreased 3%.

Circ cuts cut Brookstone’s 3Q loss Nashua, NH-based cataloger/retailer Brookstone (Nasdaq: BKST ), which mails the Brookstone, Hard-to-Find Tools, and Gardeners Eden tools and gifts titles, posted a net loss of $6.7 million for the three months ended Nov. 2. That’s an improvement upon the $9.0 million net loss for the third quarter of last year. A 24% reduction in catalog circulation accounted for much of the narrowed loss. It also led to a 7% drop in catalog and Internet sales, to $12.5 million for the quarter. Total third-quarter sales increased 7%, to $62.8 million from $58.5 million last year. Same store sales increased 7%.

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Financial reports: Talbots, Brookstone

Talbots 1Q catalog sales down 11%

Women’s apparel cataloger/retailer The Talbots (NYSE: TLB) posted a 2% decrease in first-quarter net sales, to $391.3 million for the three months ended May 4, compared with $401.1 million last year. Catalog sales at the Hingham, MA-based company fell 11%, to $69.6 million from $78.0 million, due in part to circulation cuts.

First-quarter net income fell 13%, to $35.0 million from $40.1 million last year. “Although our earnings per diluted share of $0.57 for the period were below last year’s record $0.62, we believe this drop is confined to the first quarter,” chairman/president/CEO Arnold Zetcher said in a statement. “Primarily impacting our results during the period were softness in our dress and structured-suit business, as well as a weak start to our mid-season sale in March.”

Brookstone’s net loss widens 25% Gadgets and tools cataloger/retailer Brookstone (Nasdaq: BKST), which mails the Brookstone, Gardeners Eden, and Hard-to-Find Tools catalogs, saw its first-quarter direct marketing sales decline just 3% on a 20% slash in circulation. Nonetheless, the cost cutting in the direct marketing division didn’t help the bottom line: Brookstone’s net loss for the quarter was $6.5 million, compared with a net loss of $5.2 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2001. Total first-quarter sales for the Nashua, NY-based company increased 3%, to $56.6 million from $55.0 million.

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