FINANCE

Guess 3Q Profit Up 9%

BY CSA STAFF

Los Angeles Guess?, Inc. said Thursday that its profit rose 9% in the third quarter on an increase in sales worldwide. The retailer said it earned $64 million for the three-month period that ended Nov. 1. Its earnings beat the expectations of analysts.

Total net revenue for the company increased 12.5% to $527.9 million for the quarter, from $469.1 million last year. Revenue at the chain’s North American stores grew nearly 12%, but comparable-store sales slipped 0.8% vs. the same period last year.

Business in Europe grew nearly 17%, while revenue in the company’s wholesale segment, which includes its Asian operations, rose 2.4%.

CEO Paul Marciano said in a statement that the North American business was strong at the beginning of the quarter, “though business softened toward the end of the period.”

He said the company expects the current market, which is seeing consumers worldwide cut back on spending amid an economic slump, is expected to continue. But he said Guess would manage its expenses, control inventory and spend its capital carefully during the economic woes.

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Mattel wins injunction battle against MGA over Bratz licensing

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Last night, U.S. District Judge Stephen Larson granted Mattel’s request for an injunction to stop MGA Entertainment from selling certain Bratz products.

“We believe the jury verdict was clear in denying 99% of Mattel’s copyright infringement claim and that issuing such a broad injunction is inconsistent with the limited jury verdict and the law,” said Isaac Larian, ceo of MGA.  Larian added that “MGA intends to immediately appeal the injunction Mattel was granted.”

While the order does provide that it will be stayed until February 2009 while the Court considers additional legal briefing on post-trial issues, MGA will request that the stay be extended pending resolution of MGA’s appeal.  “We will seek to stay enforcement of this Order until our appeal is resolved so we can maintain the over 1500 people that MGA employs, and continue to give our consumers a product they desire,” Larian stated.  

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Food, consumables drive BJ’s Nov. comps growth

BY CSA STAFF

NATICK, Mass. BJ’S reported that sales for the month of November 2008 increased by 5.2% to $783.2 million from $744.4 million for November 2007. Excluding gasoline sales, merchandise comparable club sales increased by 6.2% versus guidance of 2% to 3%. According to the company, the increase versus guidance was due primarily to stronger sales of food and consumables, particularly during week four.

November sales increased in all regions with the highest increase in Metro New York and the lowest increase in the Southeast region. Comparable-club sales increases were highest in week four and lowest in week three, reflecting a calendar shift in the timing of Thanksgiving.

Departments with the strongest sales increases versus last year included bakery, breakfast foods, computer equipment, dairy, deli, frozen, health & beauty aids, household chemicals, meat, oils, paper products, pet foods, prepared foods, produce, snacks, soda and trash bags. Weaker departments versus last year included apparel, cigarettes, electronics, jewelry, prerecorded video, seasonal, televisions, tires and toys.

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