The Jones Group has reported wider losses for the fourth quarter ended last Dec. 31 and for the past financial year as a whole. In the latest quarter, the net loss widened to $80.1 million from $20.9 million in the same period a year earlier, but total revenues went up by 8.7 percent to $972 million, and adjusted net profits for continued operations increased if numerous onetime costs are excluded.
During the quarter, the wholesale footwear and accessories business was one of the best performers within the American group, which is deeply involved in the shoe sector at the wholesale level through Stuart Weitzman and other brands. The retail channel, which includes Nine West, remained more challenging. The international segment, represented mainly by Kurt Geiger, continued to perform very well, in spite of the economic difficulties in Western Europe.
For the full financial year, Jones reported a net loss of $55 million on revenues of $3,798 million, compared with a $51.5 million profit on sales of $3,785 million in 2011. The operating margin of the group declined to 20 percent from 37 percent in the previous year.
The domestic wholesale and footwear & accessories segment recorded a positive operating margin of 6.2 percent on sales of $919.7 million for the year, up from a margin of 4.8 percent on $848.0 million in the previous year.
Domestic retail showed a negative operating margin of 8.8 percent on sales of $584.6 million, versus a negative margin of 6.0 percent on $631.2 million. The international retail business had an operating margin of 1.4 percent on sales of $388.9 million, compared with a margin of 2.6 percent on sales of $260.4 million.
Wesley Card, chief executive of the group, said he was encouraged by the turnaround efforts being made in the retail and structured sportswear segments. He said that the group's new approach to brand management and creative design talent will advance the reinvigoration of its core brands. At the same time, Jones is concentrating its efforts on upscale and contemporary brands as well as international development, which have been singled out as areas that are offering the greatest opportunities for revenue growth. It will make a stronger push in footwear, jewelry and handbags.