New York—The Jones Group Inc. reported today that its third quarter profit rose 68% as expenses fell and despite sluggish sales.
For the quarter ended Oct. 5, the parent of Nine West, Jones New York, Stuart Weitzman etc. posted a profit of $29.3 million, or 38 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $17.4 million, or 22 cents a share. Excluding asset impairment charges, restructuring-related costs and other items, adjusted earnings fell to 48 cents from 57 cents. That was still ahead of analysts’ estimate for 42 cents a share.
Net revenue edged down 1.3% to $1.02 billion, just shy of the $1.04 billion that analysts’ estimated.
Net interest expense and financing costs fell 61% form a year earlier. Selling, general and administrative expenses were down 1.8%. Gross margin was unchanged at 35.2%.
According to Wesley Card, chief executive, “third quarter revenues were in line with our expectations, with the jeanswear segment again registering the largest improvement in operating results, as those product lines continue to perform well. The Domestic Retail, International Wholesale and International Retail segments also showed improved operating results, led by the Nine West Outlet and Stuart Weitzman domestic retail businesses and the Jones New York businesses in Canada and Spain. Our new and refocused sportswear product offerings for fall are performing significantly better, and we anticipate that trend will continue.”
The sluggish sales in some of its legacy brands and in some of its retail stores prompted Jones Group last summer to hired advisors to explore a possible sale of the company, or some of its brands.