Neiman Marcus Profits Soar
March 7, 2005,
Helped by a big gain in same-store sales, stronger margins and lower costs, fourth quarter profits at upscale retailer The Neiman-Marcus Group climbed 19.3 percent, to $70.6 million from $59.2 million last year.
In a strong lift to earnings, in addition to the stronger comps, average gross margin widened substantially, by 110 basis points, or 1.1 percentage points, to 32.5 percent from 31.4 percent the preceding year. At the same time, operating costs were whittled 90 basis points, or nine-tenths of a percentage point, to 21.9 percent of sales from 22.8 percent a year ago.
The one soft spot was the retailer's direct marketing operation, where sales dipped by 1.6 percent, to $188 million from $191 million, following the sale of the Chef's catalog. Excluding the Chef's business, however, same-store sales in the business actually climbed by 15.8 percent.
The Neiman-Marcus Group Inc.
|Qtr. 1/29 (x000)||2005||2004||% change|
|a. Fourth quarter results include a $769,000 loss from the retailer's minority interest in a subsidiary, compared with a $934,000 year-before loss.
b. 12-month results include a $1.6 million loss from a minority interest in a subsidiary, compared with $1.9 million last year.
|Oper. Income (EBIT)||119,660||90,001||33.0|
|Per share (diluted)||1.43||1.21||18.2|
|Average gross margin||32.5%||31.4%||—|
|Oper. Income (EBIT)||244,923||187,289||30.8|
|Per share (diluted)||2.73||2.37||15.2|
|Average gross margin||35.4%||34.2%||—|