Jacksonville, FL–Stein Mart reversed two years of losses with a fourth quarter profit of $2.7 million, compared to a loss of $56.2 million in the same period last year. Sales in the three months to January 30th fell 6.1% to $341.8 million, while comparable store sales declined 3.8%, the company said.
The result enabled Stein Mart to post a full-year profit of $23.6 million, versus a loss of $71.3 million last year.
Full-year sales fell 8.1% to $1.22 billion, and comparable store sales decreased 5.6%.
Stein Mart president and CEO David Stovall Jr. said the company was proud to end two years of losses in what he called “one of the most demanding years in our company’s history.”
He added: “Rigorous focus on inventory levels and freshness, dedication to expense reduction and emphasis on cash generation all contributed to our profitability this year.” Stovall said the company was planning conservatively for 2010, with its first priority to improve sales without losing focus on expense and operating controls.
“With the added leadership of Brian Morrow as chief merchant, the full deployment of our new supply chain process and a significant information systems enhancement, we believe we are correctly positioned to further improve our business and give customers even more reason to visit our stores,” he said.