FINANCE

Hibbett profit increases 24%; opening 55 to 60 stores

BY Staff Writer

Birmingham, Ala. — Hibbett Sports Inc. said Friday that its fiscal first-quarter net income increased 24% on higher demand for sneakers and other athletic gear. The retailer also raised its profit outlook for the year.

For the three months through April 28, Hibbett earned a better-than-expected $26.4 million, up from $21.3 million in the same quarter last year.

Revenue increased 14% to $232.9 million from $203.7 million. Because of expectations for better sales and controlled costs, the retailer also lifted its profit outlook for the year to $2.50 to $2.65 per share from a previous prediction of $2.35 to $2.55 per share. For the year ending in January 2013, analysts expect earnings of $2.55 per share.

Hibbett operated 835 locations in 26 states as of April 28. For the year, the company expects to open 55 to 60 stores and close up to 18.

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OPERATIONS

Starbucks announces management changes to accelerate growth

BY Staff Writer

Seattle — Starbucks Corp. announced a series of management changes that it said it was undertaking to accelerate its innovation and growth. The changes come after Starbucks missed its global sales forecasts in April, mainly due to a downturn in Europe.

The company named Craig Russell, the senior VP U.S. Store Services, as senior VP of the Global Coffee division.

It also named Arthur Rubinfeld as the chief creative officer and president of Global Development and Evolution Fresh Retail division. Rubinfeld initially joined Starbucks in 1992, spending 10 years growing Starbucks retail presence from 100 stores to 4,000 stores around the world. He returned to Starbucks in 2008 to lead global store development.

In addition, Starbucks appointed Annie Young-Scrivner as executive VP and president of Starbucks Canada (the company’s largest market outside the United States). Young-Scriver previously held the title of global chief marketing officer. Starbucks said the global position will not be replaced since it has moved its marketing and category functions to the regional and market level in order to be more locally relevant.

“As we continue to sharpen our focus and strengthen our three-region operating model, local relevancy and speed of decision making are two critical requirements we must deliver so that we can seize opportunities,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and CEO. “The leadership moves we announced today will enable us to more swiftly position ourselves for the exciting opportunities ahead while never losing sight of the fact that we are a global brand with a rich heritage in coffee, long-standing values, and the responsibility to use our scale for good.”

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FINANCE

Casual Male profit falls 45% on higher tax rate

BY Marianne Wilson

Canton, Mass. — First-quarter net income dropped 45% at Casual Male Retail Group Inc., hurt by a higher tax rate. The chain’s tax rate jumped to 40.4% from 10.1% due to the reversal of a valuation allowance in fiscal 2011.

The retailer reported Friday that it earned $2.3 million for the three months ended April 28. That’s down from $4.2 million in the year-ago period.

Revenue edged up slightly to $95.9 million from $95.8 million on better sales at its DXL and Casual Male XL stores and more money spent per customer.

Same-store sales increased 2%.

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