Liz Claiborne swings to profit on sale of brands

NEW YORK -- Liz Claiborne Inc. swung to a fourth-quarter profit, buoyed by gains from sales of certain brands and trademarks, including the sale of its namesake brand to JCPenney. But the company's total revenue came in well below expectations, hurt by the faltering performance of its Juicy Couture division.

Liz Claiborne, which is being renamed Fifth & Pacific Cos. as it focuses on its Juicy Couture, Kate Spade and Lucky Brand brands, earned $229.2 million in the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of $30.1 million in the same period last year.

Revenue decreased 2.6% to $447.06 million from last year's $458.8 million, with a 15.4% decrease in sales at Juicy Couture. Lucky Brand's sales rose 23.2% and Kate Spade's sales were up 73.4%.

The company said it is seeing improving sales of Juicy Couture for the spring season.

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