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Williams-Sonoma Q4 profit tops Street

BY Marianne Wilson

Williams Sonoma Inc. on Wednesday reported adjusted fourth-quarter earnings above expectations and said its board of directors authorized a dividend increase.

In a separate announcement, the company said Sandra Stangl, president of its Pottery Barn brands, will resign from the company March 31.

The retailer earned $145 million, or $1.63 a share, in the quarter ended January 29, compared with $141 million, or $1.55 a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for one-time items, Williams Sonoma earned $1.55 a share, beating analysts’ estimates of $1.50 per share.

Sales fell to $1.582 billion from $1.586 billion a year ago. Online revenues increased 2.2% to $809 million from $792 million in the year ago-period. E-commerce generated 51.1% of total company net revenues the fourth quarter and 49.9% of total company net revenues in the full year.

For the full fiscal year, net revenues grew 2.2% to $5.08 billion, versus $4.97 billion last year.

“In 2016, we delivered revenues of over $5 billion, which included another year of double-digit growth across West Elm, our newer businesses Rejuvenation and Mark and Graham, and our company-owned global operations,” said CEO Laura Albers. “Additionally, from an operational perspective, we executed one of our best holiday seasons and delivered an improved customer experience which is at the center of everything we do. Entering 2017, we will continue to improve performance and increase our competitive advantage, with a focus on innovation in e-commerce, our products and service, and the retail experience. We will also remain relentlessly focused on operational excellence throughout our supply chain, driving strategies that will improve our customers’ experience across all of our brands.”

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