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Lands' End 4Q lifted by strong holiday sales

Bounding back with a strong holiday season in a lackluster retail environment, fourth-quarter profits at direct merchants Lands' End rocketed up by 44.3 percent, to $45.9 million from $31.8 million last year.

Sales climbed higher by 10.7 percent, to $596.0 million from $538.6 million, getting a solid lift from a strong 12 percent gain in home.

Strengthening operations across the board, Lands' End boosted margins, cut its costs, pared its interest expense by more than a third and earned half a million dollars in interest income on money it banked.

Average gross margin widened by 110 basis points, to 44.8 percent to 43.7 percent a year ago. Gross margin dollars increased by 13.5 percent, to $267.1 million from $235.4 million last year. At the same time, the retailer sharply reduced its overhead by 180 basis points, to 32.0 percent of sales from 33.8 percent the year before.

Lifted by the stronger sales, wider margins and lower costs, operating profits jumped up by 43.0 percent, to $76.6 million from $53.6 million.

Completing the comeback, profits for all of last year virtually doubled, rising by 93.1 percent, to $66.9 million from $34.7 million. Sales, excluding shipping and handling revenue, advanced by 6.9 percent, to $1.45 billion from $1.36 billion the preceding year.

Lands' End Inc.

Qtr. 2/1/02 (x000) 2002 2001 % CHG
Sales $596,006 $538,557 10.7
Oper. income (EBIT) 76,589 53,571 43.0
Net income 45,878 31,803 44.3
Per share (diluted) 1.51 1.07 41.1
Average gross margin 44.8% 43.7%
SG&A expenses 32.0% 33.8%
12 months
Sales 1,569,062 1,462,283 7.3
Oper. income (EBIT) 113,164 61,660 83.5
Net income 66,916 34,657 93.1
Per share (diluted) 2.23 1.14
Average gross margin 43.9% 42.5%
SG&A expenses 36.7% 38.3%


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