FINANCE

Williams-Sonoma Q2 profit up 40% on strong sales growth

BY CSA STAFF

San Francisco Williams-Sonoma reported Thursday that net income for the quarter ended July 31 rose to $30.8 million, compared with $399,000 a year earlier.

The operator of Williams-Sonoma namesake stores and Pottery Barn cited strong sales of home decor and kitchen products for the improvement.

Revenue rose 15% to $775.6 million, from $672.1 million. Analysts expected $757.9 million.

Same-store sales rose 13.6%.

“We are continuing to see a positive consumer response to our merchandising and marketing strategies, including our recently introduced fall assortments, as well as the enhanced customer service programs in all of our brands,” said CEO Laura Alber.

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Deloitte Consumer Spending Index down 4.45%

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index fell to 4.45%, from an upwardly revised gain of 4.63% a month ago. According to the company, the Index experienced its third straight month of decline in July, due in large part to weakness in the housing market.

“American households continue to be cautious about spending while economic growth continues to be uneven,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman and Deloitte’s retail leader in the United States.  “At the same time, consumers economized over the past two years and likely have pent up demand for goods they have foregone.  Retailers should consider strategies to stay nimble amid shifts in consumer behavior in the months ahead.  Customer data and business analytics may be particularly valuable for retailers to hone pricing, merchandise and promotions that attract their target consumers.”

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Limited Brands posts earnings gains

BY CSA STAFF

COLUMBUS, Ohio Limited Brands reported that adjusted earnings per share for the second quarter ended July 31, were 36 cents compared with 19 cents for the quarter ended Aug. 1, 2009, which exclude certain significant items in both years as detailed below.

The company reported a comparable store sales increase of 7% for the second quarter ended July 31, compared with the second quarter ended Aug. 1, 2009.  The company reported net sales of $2.243 billion for the second quarter, compared with sales of $2.067 billion last year. 

 

The company stated that it expects 2010 third quarter earnings per share to be 3 cents to 8 cents compared with adjusted earnings per share of 2 cents per share last year.  The company now expects August comparable-store sales to increase in the mid to high single digit range versus its previous guidance for a low single digit increase. 

 

For 2010, the company increased its adjusted earnings per share forecast to $1.68 to $1.83 from $1.60 to $1.80 previously.

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