Steve Madden Q1 Profit Up on Better Accessories Sales

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"Major" for spring: booties at Steve Madden

“Major” for spring: booties at Steve Madden

Long Island City, NY—Steve Madden Inc. today reported that its first quarter profit rose 7% thanks to continued strong sales in its namesake footwear and accessories.

For the quarter ended March 31, the footwear and accessories company posted net income of $23.4 million, or 52 cents a share, compared to $21.9 million, or 50 cents a share in the prior-year quarter. Net sales increased 4.9% to $278.9 million.

The results beat analysts’ average estimate for 51 cents a share on revenue of $281.8 million.

“We delivered solid sales and earnings results in the first quarter despite challenging weather conditions and retail traffic trends,” said Edward Rosenfeld, chairman/ceo. “These results are attributable to continued momentum in our accessories business, growth in our retail segment driven by both new stores and moderate comparable store sales growth, as well as expansion of our international business. Steve and his design team continue to deliver outstanding, on-trend product assortments that are enabling us to outperform the competition, and so despite the challenging environment, we are confident we can continue to advance on our growth objectives.”

Gross margin widened to 36.8% from 36.1% in first quarter last year due primarily to an increased mix of retail, which has higher gross margins than the wholesale business.

In its wholesale division, the company said net sales increased 2.2% to $233.9 million which the company credited to “continued strong growth in the wholesale accessories business, partially offset by a modest decrease in the wholesale footwear business driven by a decline in our Topline division.”

Sales at Steve Madden stores rose 21.7% to $45.1 million with comparable store sales up 3%. The company opened one Steve Madden full-price store in the first quarter and ended the quarter with 110 company-operated retail locations, including 11 outlets and three Internet stores.

Looking ahead, Steve Madden reaffirmed its 2013 sales forecast for an increase of 6% to 8% with earnings per share in the range of $2.95 to $3.05.

Analysts’ consensus expects the company to earn $2.99 a share on sales of $1.33 billion for the year.