Genesco has raised its sales and profit projections for the financial years ending in January 2005 and January 2006 after posting much improved results for the 3rd quarter ended last Oct. 30. Excluding discontinued operations, net earnings grew to $12.5 million from $9.4 million in the same period a year ago as sales increased by 36 percent to $288 million, thanks only in part to the acquisition of Hat World.

The Journeys chain raised its sales by 13 percent in absolute terms, reaching $138 million, with increases of 7 percent in value and 10 percent in units on a same-store basis, as average selling prices continued to decline by 3 percent. The improvement was attributed largely to a stronger business with Nike and with classic athletic models by the likes of Adidas, New Balance, Puma and K-Swiss. Sales of boots were affected by the warm weather in most of the USA but they are expected to strengthen in the 4th quarter.

On the other hand, the group’s Underground Station stores continued to show problems as they suffered a 2 percent decline on a comparable basis. Johnston & Murphy made significant progress, raising its operating margin by 3.7 percentage points to 4.9 percent, thanks to better sourcing, fewer clearance sales and a better sales mix of premium products, but sales at its stores declined by 1 percent on a comparable basis. Dockers Footwear increased margins on 8 percent higher sales of $18 million.