Jones Q2 Profit Jumps on Better Margins, Inventory Controls

New York—Tight inventory control and improved margins helped The Jones Group’s second quarter profit jump 56%.

For the quarter ended June 30, the parent to Nine West, Anne Klein, Brian Atwood and other brands posted today net income of $7.9 million, or 10 cents a share, compared to $5.0 million, or 6 cents a share, a year ago.

Wesley R. Card, ceo, credited: “our improved gross margin, which exceeded expectations. Our gross margin improvement of 180 basis points was the result of the inclusion of Kurt Geiger for a full quarter, improvement in many segments as a result of conservative inventory planning and control.”

Inventory levels were adjusted too, down 11%, accounting for $468 million.

Those benefits offset the company’s 4% drop in total revenues to $855 million, missing analysts’ average estimate for $867.07 million. Analysts’ consensus expected earnings of 7 cents a share.

Second Half: ‘Very Positive Reactions’ from Retailers

Jones Group ended the quarter with $277 million in cash and no amounts drawn under its $650 million of committed revolving credit facilities, noted John McClain, chief financial officer.

“Our approach to inventory commitments continues to be conservative, and we continue to emphasize tight expense control. We believe these actions and our plans will enable us to continue to maintain a strong balance sheet,” McClain said.

In the last year, Jones has acquired several higher end brands for its portfolio, notably U.K.-based shoe retailer Kurt Geiger, Stuart Weitzman and Brian Atwood. And further acquisitions—as well as spinning off some lower performing brands—may be ahead for the company.

“We believe we are well positioned for the second half of the year as we continue to execute on our strategic pillars,” Card said. “We have received very positive reactions from wholesale customers to our enhanced products across our brands that will ship in Fall and are confident that this will translate into improved retail performance and ultimately increased sales.”

The company said its board has declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of 5 cents a share to stockholders of record as of August 10.

 

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