Caleres, the parent of Famous Footwear and various footwear brands previously called Brown Shoe Co., reported a net profit of $34.0 million for the third quarter, including $1.2 million of after-tax expenses related to the company's debt extinguishment in the second quarter. Excluding this expense, net earnings were $35.2 million, up by 6.2 percent compared.
Sales of $728.6 million compared with third quarter 2014 sales of $729.3 million. Excluding sales from Shoes.com, which was divested in December 2014, sales increased by 1.8 percent.
The company attributed the good performance in the third quarter, despite a challenging retail environment, to solid inventory planning and careful expense management. The gross margin of 39.6 percent was down by around 0.3 percentage points compared with last year's third quarter.
Famous Footwear posted revenue growth of 4.8 percent, or 4.4 percent on a same-store basis, with sales amounting to $456.2 million, driven by strong performance in athletic shoes, continued improvement in e-commerce and growth in women's footwear. Internet sales grew by 50 percent, thanks to new staff and more aggressive digital marketing. Ship-to-store options are now available at 950 stores;
During the quarter 13 Famous Footwear stores were opened and 13 were closed. For the first nine months of 2015, Famous Footwear's sales were up by 2.4 percent excluding Shoes.com, or by 2.6 percent on a same-store basis. During the first nine months of the year Famous Footwear opened 38 new stores, including one in Canada, and closed 32.
In the Brand Portfolio segment quarterly sales of $272.5 million were down by 2.8 percent. The company attributed the decline to the unseasonably warm weather in the third quarter, which slowed the sales of tall-shaft boots. Brand Portfolio sales grew by 2.7 percent for the first nine months of 2015.
Contemporary Fashion sales were down by 2.5 percent in the third quarter. Contemporary Fashion brands include Sam Edelman, Franco Sarto, Vince, Via Spiga, Diane von Furstenberg, Fergie Footwear and Carlos Santana. For the first nine months, Contemporary Fashion sales grew by 4.5 percent, driven by good growth from Sam Edelman and Vince.
Healthy Living sales were down by 2.8 percent in the latest quarter. Healthy Living brands include Naturalizer, Dr. Scholl's, LifeStride, Bzees and Ryka. For the first nine months, Healthy Living grew by 1.4 percent, with contributions from Naturalizer wholesale, LifeStride and Dr. Scholl's.