Spiegel gets OK to sell Newport
May 24, 2004,
Embattled catalog retailer Spiegel Inc., working its way through a painful bankruptcy and a gradual dismembering of its retail operations, has received a green light from a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge to sell its Newport News women's fashion unit.
Separately, in a further winding down of operations, Spiegel put up for sale its profitable Eddie Bauer division.
The bankrupt retailer reported a narrowed first-quarter loss of $100.5 million, down from a year-before loss of $114.2 million, as it slashed costs and put behind it a $71.9 million loss from discontinued operations that pulled down the bottom line a year ago.
Spiegel retail sales tumbled 25.9 percent, to $264.4 million from $356.7 million last year, a shortfall of almost $100 million.
Working to cut its losses, Spiegel whittled its costs 27.7 percent, to $139.8 million from $193.2 million, yielding a savings of more than $53 million.
Measured as a percentage of shrinking sales, costs declined to 52.9 percent from 54.2 percent. Average gross margin contracted to 35.5 percent from 36.8 percent.
Taking a big bite out of the bottom line, bankruptcy costs amounted to $11.9 million, up 51.6 percent from $7.8 million the preceding year.
|Qtr. 4/3 (x000)||2004||2003||% chg|
a-Retail sales, excluding $25.1 million in other revenues, down 28.9 percent from $35.2 million a year ago. Total revenues declined 26.2 percent, to $289.4 million from $391.9 million during the same period in 2003.
b-First-quarter results include $11.9 million in bankruptcy costs, compared with $7.8 million last year; a $6.5 million loss from discontinued operations, compared with a $71.9 million year-before loss; and an expected loss on the sale of discontinued operations of $58.7 million.
|Oper. income (EBIT)||(20,942)||(26,837)||—|
|Per share (diluted)||(0.76)||(0.87)||—|
|Average gross margin||35.5||36.8||—|