The Walking Company helped boost Big Dog Holdings’ sales for the year ended Dec. 31 by 22.0 percent to $218.6 million. TWC’s sales jumped by 56.0 percent to $135.7 million, mainly due to the acquisition of Footworks in 2005 and of Steve’s Shoes in 2006. These respectively added $7.5 million and $21.2 million to TWC’s turnover, and sales at Steve’s Shoes is expected to grow considerably this year under its new ownership.

Comparable store turnover for TWC was up by 10.6 percent, and the rate of increase reached around 12 percent in the 1st quarter of 2007. The chain’s gross margin was flat at 51.7 percent for the past year, but its contribution to group profits fell by 15 percent to $2.3 million.

Big Dog Holdings’ gross margin dropped by about 170 basis points to 53.5 percent. The group’s income from operations was $3.6 million, down from $8.5 million in 2005. Net income plummeted to $971,000, compared with $4,723,000 in the prior year.

For the 4th quarter, new store openings, strong comparative store sales and the acquisition of Steve’s Shoes aided a rise in net sales of 22 percent to $72.6 million. Comparative store sales were up by 5.8 percent. At TWC, comparative store sales increased by 14.5 percent. The group’s gross margin fell by 200 basis points to 52.9 percent in the quarter. Net income was slightly reduced to $3,019,000, as compared to $3,649,000 in the year-ago quarter.

At the end of the year, the group had a total of 306 stores in operation, including 151 TWC doors and 155 Big Dog locations. This compares to 268 stores at the end of 2005, comprising 92 TWC doors and176 Big Dog outlets.