FINANCE

Foot Locker Q4 profit up on higher sales

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Foot Locker Inc. on Friday said its fourth quarter profit rose to $104 million from $81 million a year earlier.

Sales jumped 14% to $1.71 billion, including the benefit of an extra week. Same-store sales rose 7.9%.

For fiscal year 2012, which included 53 weeks, the company reported net income of $397 million, compared to $278 million a year earlier.

Total sales increased 9.9% in 2012 to $6.182 million, compared with sales of $5.623 million last year. Same-store sales were up 9.4% in 2012.

"With the momentum we built from executing our strategic initiatives, the team at Foot Locker, Inc. was able to drive our sales and profits substantially higher than last year’s record results," said Ken C. Hicks, chairman and CEO of Foot Locker, Inc. "We believe that we can continue to build on this momentum and deliver a double digit percentage earnings per share gain for full-year 2013, compared to our 2012 non-GAAP results of $2.47 per share."

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OPERATIONS

Judge orders Macy’s, Penney, Martha Stewart into mediation

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — After nearly three weeks of testimony, a New York State Supreme Court Judge ordered Macy’s, J.C. Penney Co. and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia into mediation to try and reach a settlement in their contract dispute trial.

If the three companies do not reach an agreement before April 8, the judge will resume hearing the case.

In another development in the ongoing dispute, Penney agreed not to sell certain Martha Stewart-designed goods (products deemed exclusive to Macy’s) until at least April 8.

Also, Stewart and Macy’s CEO Lundgren had "a productive conversation regarding the ongoing contract dispute," Martha Stewart Living said in statement released prior to the judge’s order for mediation. It was the first time that the two former friends had spoken to each other since December 2011, when Lundgren testified he hung up on Stewart after she called to tell him about the deal.

"We view today’s actions as a positive step forward and welcome a prompt and fair resolution," the statement added.

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News

Genesco earnings down in Q4

BY CSA STAFF

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Genesco, a specialty retailer of sports apparel and accessories reported fourth quarter earnings of$38.7 million, or $1.63 per diluted share, compared withearnings from continuing operations of $41.5 million, or $1.72 per dilutedshare, for the same period last year.

Net sales for the fourth quarter increased 10% to $797million from $723 million in the same period last year.Consolidated fourthquarter 2013 comparable sales, including same-store sales and comparablee-commerce and catalog sales, decreased 2% on a 14-week basis, with a 1%decrease in the Journeys Group, a 10% decrease in the Lids Sports Group, a 7%increase in the Schuh Group, and a 2% increase in the Johnston & Murphy Group.

The company also reported earnings from continuing operations for the full yearof $111 million, or $4.62 per diluted share,compared with earnings from continuing operations of $83 million, or $3.48 perdiluted share, for the 52-week period ended Jan. 28, 2012.

Robert Dennis, chairman, president and CEO of Genesco,said, "Fiscal 2013 was another solid year for Genesco, highlighted by annualsales and adjusted earnings per share increases of 14% and 24%, respectively. Webelieve that the strong earnings performance in a year characterized bychallenges in our markets and in the broader economy demonstrates the resiliencyof our business model."

"Fiscal 2014 has started off somewhat slowly, with February consolidatedcomparable sales down 9%. We believe that most of the negative factors we haveidentified in our recent performance, including a delay in initial federal taxrefunds and the timing of new product deliveries versus a year ago, aretemporary. Comparable sales improved in the course of February, but we remaincautious in our near-term outlook given continuing uncertainty in the economyand in some of our markets and the relatively strong prior year comparisons weface in the first half of this year."

The company expectsadjusted fiscal 2014 diluted earningsper share to be in the range of $5.57 to $5.67, which represents a 10% to 12%increase over fiscal 2013’s adjusted earnings per share of $5.06.

This guidance assumes comparable sales increases in the low single digit rangefor the full fiscal year.

Dennis concluded, "We enter the new year focused on continuing to navigatesuccessfully through the short-term headwinds while executing our long-termgrowth strategies."

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