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Brown Shoe swings to profit in Q1

St. Louis -- Brown Shoe Company’s first quarter results exceeded expectations as the retailer swung to a profit. The company said it is raising its annual forecast.

Brown Shoe reported net earnings for the quarter of $15.4 million, compared to a net loss of $10.8 million in the year-ago period.

Net sales for the quarter increased 0.4% to $591.2 million, from $588.7 million for the prior-year quarter.

“First quarter results exceeded our expectations, thanks to strong contemporary fashion platform sales and a return to more seasonal weather for the last two weeks of April,” said Diane Sulllivan, CEO, president and chairman of Brown Shoe.

Sullivan cited strong contemporary fashion platform sales and a return to more seasonal weather for the last two weeks of April as the driving factors for the company’s first quarter results. “We feel optimistic about second quarter and the potential to benefit from pent-up spring shoe demand,” she added.

Famous Footwear sales for the quarter were $354.6 million, up 0.7% year-over-year, with same-store-sales up 1.3%.

Wholesale sales for the quarter were $191.8 million, up 5.6%. For the healthy living platform, wholesale sales of $104.7 million were up 0.7%. Contemporary fashion wholesale sales of $86.9 million were up 12.3% in the first quarter, with strong improvement coming from the Via Spiga brand.

© 2014