Financial reports: Williams-Sonoma, Restoration Hardware, Bombay Co.

Record 1Q income for Williams-Sonoma

San Francisco-based Williams-Sonoma (NYSE: WSM) credited “significant operational improvements,” along with a nearly 15% rise in revenue, for its record first-quarter profit. For the three months ended May 5, the multititle cataloger/retailer posted net earnings of $15.4 million, compared with $492,000 for the first quarter of fiscal 2001.

Total net revenue for the quarter was $478.4 million, up from $417.6 million a year ago. First-quarter catalog and Internet sales rose a more modest 6%, to $178.3 million from $167.7 million. The Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids home décor titles drove most of the growth. Williams-Sonoma’s other brands include the eponymous kitchenware catalog and retail chain, storage products cataloger/retailer Hold Everything, and upscale bedding catalog Chambers. Earlier this year the company launched West Elm, a more modestly priced take on Pottery Barn. Retail sales increased 20%, to $267.6 million, and comparable store sales rose 6%.

Bouyed by its first-quarter results, the company has raised its fiscal guidance for the year. It now projects annual revenue of $2.36 billion-$2.39 billion; the previous guidance was $2.34 billion-$2.37 billion. Catalog and Internet sales are expected to be $820 million-$831 million, up from $812 million-$827 million. It estimates diluted earnings per share for the year of $0.95-$0.98, up appreciably from earlier guidance of $0.85-$0.88.

Rise in direct sales helps cut Restoration Hardware’s loss A 5% rise in catalog and Internet sales wasn’t enough to prevent total first-quarter revenue at Restoration Hardware (Nasdaq: RSTO) from slipping 2%. But it did contribute to a decline in its net loss.

For the three months ended May 4, the Corte Madera, CA-based home décor cataloger/retailer lost $7.2 million on net sales of $69.4 million. For the comparable quarter of 2001, the net loss was $8.4 million on sales of $70.7 million. Catalog and Internet sales were $6.6 million for the quarter just ended, compared with $6.2 million a year ago.

Weak 1Q has Bombay Co. revving up catalogs Count The Bombay Co. (NYSE: BBA) as another multichannel marketer reawakening to the value of catalog marketing. The home décor marketer’s decision to cut catalog circulation and test newspaper ads and direct mail instead contributed to a slight dip in first-quarter sales, to $90.9 million from $91.0 million last year. What’s more, the net loss for the three months ended May 4 was $3.4 million, compared with $3.0 million a year ago.

So Fort Worth, TX-based Bombay Co. is now revving up its circulation, increasing it by 13% over last year. Interestingly, despite the lack of catalog promotion, first-quarter nonstore revenue more than doubled, to approximately $6.4 million from roughly $2.7 million last year. In addition to the Bombay Co. and Bombay Kids catalogs, nonstore revenue includes wholesale, Web, and international sales.

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