Build-A-Bear Workshop widens Q4 loss; reports annual loss of $49 million

St. Louis -- Build-A-Bear Workshop, which is in the midst of a major turnaround initiative, reported a net loss of $36.5 million for its fourth quarter ended Dec. 29, compared with a net loss of $9 million during the prior-year quarter.

Total revenue for the quarter was $118.2 million, down 1% from the prior-year quarter.

For the full year, Build-A-Bear Workshop reported a net loss of $49.3 million in fiscal 2012, compared with a net loss of $17.1 million in fiscal 2011. The 2012 loss included a $33.7 million goodwill impairment in the fourth quarter.

The company reported total revenue of $380.9 million in 2012, down 3% from the previous year.

Founder and CEO Maxine Clark, who announced her retirement Jan. 31, said that the company was “disappointed” with its overall results. But she noted that in the fourth quarter the company increased same-store store sales in North America to show a marked improvement from the third quarter.”

“This increase was driven by the initial benefit of our brand building marketing campaigns, particularly in the U.S., and a return to traditional holiday product offerings,” Clark stated. “The U.K. remained challenging, which drove down our consolidated comparable store sales.

Clark also said: “We are in the midst of a multi-year turnaround initiative that includes closing an additional 50 to 60 stores by the end of 2014, updating our experience with a new design that builds our destination appeal and refocusing on brand messaging in our marketing programs.”


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