New York—Fifth & Pacific Cos. (soon to be Kate Spade & Co.) said today that its fourth quarter profit more than tripled as sales rose 22% boosted by its premier brand, Kate Spade.
For the quarter ended Dec. 28, the company posted earnings of $185.2 million, or $1.48 a share, up from a profit of $57 million, or 47 cents a share, a year ago. Earnings from continuing operations, which includes Juicy Couture and excludes Lucky, rose to $1.29 a share from 42 cents a share in the prior-year period. (The period also included $179.2 million in gains from trademark sales).
CEO William McComb Departs
Net revenue rose 22% to $426.9 million.
At Kate Spade, net sales rose 48% to $256 million, accounting for about 60% of the company’s total revenue. The brand’s direct-to-consumer sales rose 30%.
Outgoing CEO William McComb noted that full year adjusted earnings at Kate Spade was $130 million compared with $95 million in 2012, “reflecting a sizeable 37.4% increase.
“As discussed in our early January pre-announcement, Kate Spade performed well in a very promotional environment in the fourth quarter, delivering direct to consumer comparable sales growth of 30%. We also continue to be pleased with the wind down of our Juicy Couture operations, which is proceeding according to plan.”
McComb, who helped steer the company when it was Liz Claiborne Inc., acquiring brands, now has helmed the company under the Fifth & Pacific nameplate when it divested itself of brands to focus mostly on Kate Spade.
“Today, I formally hand over the CEO role to Craig Leavitt,” McComb said. “I leave the company very confident about its future as this new senior management team of Craig, Chief Creative Officer Deborah Lloyd and President/COO George Carrara is well positioned to deliver on Kate Spade’s significant growth opportunities.”
In a statement released today, Leavitt thanks McComb for this leadership and noted a busy five years ahead.
“We face many growth opportunities now as Kate Spade & Company across channels of distribution, product categories and geographies. This momentum is underscored by our recently announced acquisition of our Southeast Asia distributor relationship, enabling us to accelerate growth in this key market,” Leavitt said.
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