Martha Stewart narrows quarterly loss  

New York – Though Martha Stewart’s Kmart business got clunked in the first quarter, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia was “pleased” with the performance of the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy’s.

The captive Macy’s brand “is the No. 1 registered brand on bridal. The performance in cookware and dinnerware was very strong – in soft home as well, in both opening price points and better portions of the Collection,” president of merchandising Robin Marino told analysts on this morning’s quarterly conference call.

Sales of Martha Stewart Everyday merchandise at Kmart fell 21% during the first quarter ended March 31, according to MSLO cfo Howard Hochhauser. However, sales lagged only 4% during the first three weeks of April, primarily driven by the seasonal launch of patio furniture, he said.

Hochhauser declined to break out the Macy’s business, saying that aside from the Kmart program, no other merchandising initiative is materially significant.

Overall merchandising revenues fell 3.9% to $13.8 million during the quarter. EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) in the segment slipped 3.5% to $6.98 million. Operating income declined 2.7% to approximately $6.6 million. The company described the merchandising results as “on target.”

Total corporate revenues rose 1.7% to $67.8 million, with the broadcasting division’s 17.9% revenue jump balancing out the merchandising decline, flat results in publishing, and a 3.3% slump in internet.

MSLO narrowed its quarterly loss to $4.2 million from $11.9 million in last year’s first quarter.

“The strong performance demonstrates the resilience of our brands, especially given the challenges facing the broader advertising and retail markets,” said Susan Lyne, president and ceo.

Home & Textiles Today Staff | News & Commentary

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