Sales Lift Finish Line’s Q4 Profit

In Industry News, Reports, What's New by Jeff Prine

To kick off March Madness this month, Finish Line offered

To kick off March Madness this month, Finish Line offered shoppers a contest to predict winners of the NCAA basketball tournament.

Indianapolis—Online and comparable store improvements helped Finish Line report today a 27.7% jump in its fourth quarter profit, marking the end to its “transformative” year.

For the quarter ended March 1, the sports-oriented footwear, apparel and accessories retailer posted a net profit of $43 million, or 87 cents a share, compared with $34.3 million, or 69 cents a share, in the year-ago period. That beat analysts’ estimate by 2 cents.

Successful Omnichannel Strategy

Net revenue was up 17% to $518.9 million, falling short of analysts’ consensus for $529 million in sales. Comparable store sales increased 6.3%.

For its 2013 totals, Finish Line saw net income rise 8.5% to $75.1 million, while net sales grew 15.7% to $1.67 billion.

“Our strong fourth quarter performance represented a great finish to a transformative year,” said Glenn Lyon, chairman/ceo. “The successful execution of our consumer-centric omnichannel strategy drove solid gains in our core business while growth initiatives contributed meaningfully to our record full year revenue and profits. We have a clear vision for building on our strong market position through innovative product, superior service, and effective consumer engagements. With that vision and our strong team, we move forward optimistic about our near and long-term growth prospects.”

Looking ahead to its current fiscal year, Finish Line expects comp store sales to rise in the mid-single digits with per-share earnings growth in the high single digits to low double digits. Analysts’ projected an 11% increase.