Caleres, the parent of Famous Footwear and various footwear brands previously called Brown Shoe Co, reported sales of $608.7 million for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 30, down from $615.4 million for the quarter ended Jan. 31, 2015. Excluding revenues from Shoes.com, which was sold in December 2014, sales were up by 0.4 percent.
Net earnings were down to $11.4 million as compared to $16.2 million in the fourth quarter of the previous fiscal year. The company managed to deliver improved gross and operating margin in what was poised to be a difficult quarter, while maintaining its inventory position. The gross margin inched up by 0.55 percent to reach 40.8 percent while the adjusted operating margin was up by 0.13 percent to 2.8 percent.
Famous Footwear posted a 0.8 percent revenue increase on a same-store basis. The gross margin was up by 0.58 percent to 45.5 percent. During the quarter 12 Famous Footwear stores were opened and 10 were closed. In the Brand Portfolio segment sales were up by 0.8 percent. The gross margin for the Brand Portfolio segment grew by 0.74 percent to 33.8 percent.
For the year ended on Jan. 30, 2016, Caleres posted consolidated sales of $2.58 billion as compared to $2.57 billion in the previous fiscal year, up by 20.0 percent excluding sales from Shoes.com. The gross margin inched up by 0.21 percent to 40.7 percent. Net earnings of $81.8 million attributable to Caleres were down from $82.9 for the year ended on Jan. 31, 2015. Annual adjusted earnings per share grew by 16.3 percent thanks to margin enhancement related to continued improvement in inventory management throughout the year, the company said.
Famous Footwear posted a revenue increase of 1.9 percent for the full year on a same-store basis. The gross margin was up by 0.51 percent to 44.9 percent. During the year ended Jan. 30, 2016, 50 new Famous Footwear stores were opened and 42 were closed, with average revenues per square foot improving to $217. In the Brand Portfolio segment sales grew by 2.3 percent while the gross margin declined by 0.05 percent to 33.9 percent.
The company said it expects uncertainty to continue in the first half of 2016. Consolidated sales for 2016 are predicted to be in the $2.65 billion to $2.68 billion range. Famous Footwear sales are expected to grow at a low-single digit rate for the year.