Timberland Profits Fall 12 Percent in Q1

The Timberland Co. on Thursday reported a 12 percent decline in first-quarter profits to go with a 12.9 percent slide in revenues.

For the three months ended April 3, net income was $15.9 million, or 27 cents a diluted share, versus $18 million, or 30 cents, in the year-ago quarter.

Total revenues were $296.6 million versus $340.4 million last year. By region, revenues fell 13 percent in North America to $119.9 million, were down 15 percent in Europe to $140 million, and slipped 2.9 percent in Asia to $36.8 million. By product category, footwear revenues were down 10.5 percent to $211.6 million, while apparel and accessories dropped 19.7 percent to $78.7 million.

Domestic comparable-store sales decreased 9.8 percent versus a 1.9 percent gain a year ago.

Rights to Timberland apparel in North America are licensed to Phillips-Van Heusen Corp.

Jeffrey Swartz, president and chief executive officer, said that, as 2009 unfolds, his company is seeing consumers becoming more selective in their purchases. The combination of Timberland’s brand heritage and its financial conservatism provides a foundation of stability, he said.

“This foundation allows us to continue to stay committed to our brand-invigorating strategies and positions us well for growth when the economy recovers,” he said.

The company ended the quarter with $159.2 million in cash and no debt. Inventory at the end of the quarter was $162.8 million, down 9.7 percent from a year ago, reflecting the firm’s focus on keeping clean inventory levels. Accounts receivable declined 14.6 percent to $172.3 million from a year ago.

Because of “uncertainty around consumer spending patterns and the financial health of the retail industry,” the company didn’t provide guidance for the future.

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