St. Louis — Build-A-Bear Workshop swing to a profit in the fourth quarter as net income rose to $5.4 million, compared to a loss of $36.5 million a year earlier.
Consolidated net retail sales for the quarter totaled $106.3 million, while operating 28 fewer stores at quarter’s end compared to $116.1 million in the year ago period.
Same-store sales decreased 2.2%, including a 2.8% decline in North America and a 0.1% decline in Europe.
For the full fiscal year, the chain reported a net loss was $2.1 million, an improvement from a net loss of $49.3 million in fiscal 2012. Net retail sales were $373.2 million, compared to $374.6 million in fiscal 2012. Consolidated same-store store sales increased 5.1% and included a 5.7% increase in North America and a 2.9% increase in Europe.
“In a highly promotional retail environment and with fewer stores, we increased gross margin and operating profit leading to a $4.3 million improvement in adjusted net income as compared to the fourth quarter last year ,” said Sharon Price John, CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop. “We continued to make progress on our turnaround plans to drive our company to sustainable long term profitability.”
Looking ahead, Build-A-Bear plans to close 10-15 North American stores and shift some sales to other store in existing markets while selectively upgrading stores with key features from its new interactive format. The company expects to strategically open new stores on an opportunistic basis.