Jones Group Narrows Q4 Loss Despite Highly Promotional Holiday

Summer looks from Kurt Geiger

New York—Jones Group reported today that its narrowed its fourth quarter loss narrowed despite lower-than-expected sales during holiday.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, the company, which owns Nine West, Anne Klein, Stuart Weitzman among others, reported a loss of $21.1 million, or 27 cents a share compared with a loss of $40.1 million, or 47 cents a share, a year ago. Removing impairment charges, restructuring costs and other items, earnings were 10 cents a share.

While the company had earlier predicted a lower sales total, fourth quarter revenue was $894 million, compared with $874 million last year.

Analysts’ average estimate expected earnings of 1 cent a share on revenues of $931.18 million for the quarter.

“Fourth quarter revenues were lower than expected due to the highly promotional retail environment and a slowdown in replenishment orders,” said Wesley Card, Jones’ ceo, who noted, however thank the company’s gross margin got a lift from its more upscale Kurt Geiger brand.

Gross margin rose five percentage points to 35.8%, in fact. Selling, general and administrative costs edged up to 35.1% to $314 million, while cost of sales slid to 64.2 to $574 million.

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