St. Louis Bakers Footwear Group reported that net sales in the fourth quarter, ended Jan. 31, rose 1.3% to $55.5 million. Same-store sales increased 3.6%, compared with a decrease of 6.8% in the prior-year period. Net income was $0.5 million, compared with $7.3 million in the fourth quarter last year, which included a gain of $4.8 million from the early termination of an operating lease.
Peter Edison, chairman and CEO of Bakers commented, “We are pleased to report positive operating performance in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 that included a 3.6% increase in comparable store sales, an operating profit and net income. Our performance, however, came in below our expectations at the beginning of the quarter due to the highly promotional retail environment that began in mid-December in response to sluggish holiday sales.
For the six-week period from March 1 to April 11, net sales increased 2.9% to $20.1 million, reflecting a comparable-store sales increase of 4.2%.
“As we begin fiscal 2009, we remain positive about our business prospects, as our focus on delivering great fashion while maintaining prudent control of inventory and expenses is expected to enable us to continue to achieve positive comparable-store sales and improved margins,” Edison said.