Losses Widen at R.G. Barry

A seasonal slowdown and higher expenses led to widened losses at R.G. Barry Corp. in the fourth quarter.
 
For the 13 weeks ended July 3, the Pickerington, Ohio-based accessory, footwear and slipper marketer recorded a net loss of $1.6 million, or 15 cents a share, versus a net loss of $286,000, or 3 cents, in the comparable quarter a year ago.
 
A 1 percent decline in quarterly gross profit margin — largely related to a change in product mix for the quarter — as well as a 16 percent increase in sales, general and administrative expenses caused chiefly by increased incentive bonus payments were the leading contributors to the wider loss, the company said in a statement.
 
Net sales in the quarter fell 9 percent to $16.6 million, from $18.2 million. The decline reflected lower quarterly sales to one of its biggest customers, Walmart, but was partially offset by increased spring business with several other key retailers.
 
For the full fiscal year, R.G. Barry’s net income jumped 34 percent to $9.4 million, or 85 cents, compared with $7 million, or 65 cents, a year ago.
 
Net sales rose 9 percent to $123.8 million, reflecting healthy sell-through rates across its diverse base of retailers, the company said.
 
Gross profit margins increased to 41.5 percent from 38.2 percent a year earlier, principally as a result of increased sales volume in most channels, higher-margin products and lower product costs.
 
“Our products performed well across the many retail channels we serve and our overall results exceeded both our annual operating plan and prior year’s performance … despite some very challenging outside economic forces,” said Greg Tunney, the company’s president and CEO.
 
Tunney also said on a conference call with analysts that the firm will complete an acquisition within the next 180 days, and that the acquired company is expected to provide a 13 percent to 15 percent return on investment.
 
R.G. Barry ended the fiscal year with cash and short-term investments of $44.9 million, up from $39.2 million one year ago, and no long-term debt.

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