Miles Kimball a Bright Spot for Blyth

Fourth-quarter catalog and Web sales for Greenwich, CT-based Blyth rose 11%, to $71.7 million for the three months ended Jan. 31. The growth, which was due to the Miles Kimball brands and Boca Java, a small online marketer of premium coffee and tea products, almost compensated for declines in other divisions. Total sales for the fourth quarter were $379.8 million, almost even with last year’s $380.7 million for the same three-month period.

Net sales for the fiscal year fell 3%, to $1.22 billion from $1.25 billion for fiscal 2005. Net loss for the year was $103.2 million, a turnaround from last year’s net income of $24.8 million. Full-year net sales in the catalog and Internet division rose 7%, however, to $200.2 million from 186.6 million.

“Fiscal year 2007 has been one of significant transition for Blyth, as demonstrated by our fourth-quarter and full-year restructuring charges,” CEO Robert Goergen said in a statement. “Restructuring efforts within the multichannel group of wholesale and catalog and Internet businesses, as well as the direct selling [home party] segment, have further streamlined operations, eliminated numerous less profitable customers, and continued to improve the efficiency of our asset base.”

Blyth’s catalogs include housewares, gifts, and stationery titles Miles Kimball and Walter Drake and photo album and frames catalog Exposures.

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