MSLO merchandising shines in 3Q

Retail Editor 1, November 1, 2011

New York - Strong growth in merchandising help offset poor performance in the print business during the third quarter at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

Merchandising revenues were up 29% to $12.3 million for the period, "led by strength in the Martha Stewart Living line at The Home Depot and the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's," the company noted.

Operating income in merchandising was $7.2 million in the quarter versus $5.5 million last year.

Lisa Gersh, president and coo, said MSLO is "on track with the retail sales targets laid out by the company earlier this year."

At the Home Depot, the company "saw good results across a number of categories, including home décor," she added. "At Macy's, we remain their number one brand in the home category, with textiles and tabletop leading the way."

Crafts generated strong sales at Michaels and Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts as well as the expansion of the craft line with the launch of Martha Stewart Crafts Paint and the Martha Stewart Crafts Yarn program; pet products at PetSmart broadened its assortment with the introduction of a new product line for cats; and Emeril's business "had a solid quarter" driven by three successful appearances on HSN and the expansion of a coffee line with Timothy's.

Coming up next: office products, made with Avery to be sold exclusively at Staples starting early 2012.

Merchandising couldn't overcome weakness in the company's print segment, and MSLO posted a net loss per share of 18 cents compared a net loss per share of 16 cents a year ago. Total revenues rose 5.0% to $52.2 million.


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