Financial Reports: Williams-Sonoma, Jos. A. Bank

Direct Sales Up 24% at Williams-Sonoma
Home products cataloger/retailer Williams-Sonoma (NYSE: WSM), whose brands include Pottery Barn, Hold Everything, and West Elm, continues to churn out double-digit gains in sales and earnings.

Net revenue, including shipping fees, for the fiscal first quarter ended May 2 was $640.9 million, up 19% from $536.8 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2003. Net earnings increased 60%, to $21.4 million from $13.4 million.

Direct-to-customer net sales increased 24%, to $246.6 million from $198.6 million last year. This increase was primarily driven by the Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, and West Elm brands, in addition to incremental sales from PBteen. Williams-Sonoma said all of the brands in the direct-to-customer channel delivered “positive growth” during the quarter except upscale linens title Chambers, which is being downsized in preparation for the launch of Williams-Sonoma Home in the third quarter.

First-quarter Internet sales increased 59%, to $35.3 million. Retail net sales grew 15%, to $349.4 million, due primarily to 33 store openings. Comparable store sales increased 7%.

1Q Earnings More Than Double at Jos. A. Bank
Hampstead, MD-based men’s apparel cataloger/retailer Jos. A. Bank (NasdaqNM: JOSB) posted first-quarter net income of $5.3 million, up 141% from $2.2 million last year.

Total sales for the quarter ended May 1 were $79.9 million, up 28% from $62.3 million for the first quarter of last year. Combined catalog and Internet sales increased 19% for the quarter, while comparable store sales increased 14%.

As a result of its strong performance, Bank increased its earnings guidance for fiscal 2004 to an estimated annual net income of at least $23.3 million, compared with net income of $16.6 million last year.

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