Federated profit down 57% in Q2
August 18, 2003,
Up against a tough comparison with last year, second-quarter profits at Federated Department Stores fell by 57.4 percent to $120 million from $282 million last year.
Sales dipped by 1.5 percent, to $3.4 billion from $3.5 billion last year. Same-store sales slipped even further, declining by 3.1 percent.
However, earnings came in sharply ahead of expectations at 65 cents per share, topping the retailer's earlier forecast of a 50 to 55 cent per-share profit.
Weighing on the bottom line, in addition to the softer sales, were thinning margins and rising costs. Under modest markdown pressure, average gross margin narrowed by 20 basis points, or two-tenths of a percentage point, to 41.0 percent from 41.2 percent a year ago. Costs climbed higher by 70 basis points, or seven-tenths of a percentage points, to 33.3 percent of sales from 32.6 percent a year, driven higher by $10 million in costs tied to the Rich's-Macy's consolidation and other store closings.
Lending some support to the bottom line, the retailer pared its interest expense by 16.7 percent, to $65 million from $78 million last year, generating a savings of $13 million — an amount equal to roughly 11 percent of the second quarter's entire profit.
Federated Dept. Stores Inc.
|Qtr. 8/3 (x000)||2003||2002||% chg|
|a- Second-quarter and six-month results include a $149 million gain on the disposal of a discontinued operation.
|Oper. income (EBIT)||264,000||300,000||-12.0|
|Per share (diluted)||0.65||1.40||-53.6|
|Average gross margin||41.0%||41.2%||—|
|Six months||2002||2001||% chg|
|Oper. income (EBIT)||410,000||521,000||-21.3|
|Per share (diluted)||0.89||1.84||-51.6|
|Average gross margin||40.1%||40.5%||—|