Weyco Group Sales, Earnings Suffer

Milwaukee-based Weyco Group Inc. announced a decrease in sales and earnings on Monday for the fourth quarter and for full-year 2008. In addition to a diminished wholesale and retail business, the company fielded higher production costs, which impacted gross margins.

Fourth-quarter net income slid 55 percent to $3.5 million from $7.8 million a year ago. Earnings per diluted share were 30 cents, down from 66 cents in the comparable year-ago period. For all of 2008, net earnings dropped 25 percent to $17 million, or $1.45 a diluted share, from $22.9 million, or $1.91, in 2007.

Fourth-quarter sales fell 20 percent to $50 million. Full-year sales decreased 5 percent to $221.4 million.

Weyco chairman and CEO Tom Florsheim Jr. attributed the decreases to the weak economy. “We anticipate these challenges will continue into 2009, and we are carefully watching our costs as we go forward,” he said in a statement. Still, Florsheim assured investors of the health of the company. “Our strong balance sheet … allows us to continue to make the necessary long-term investment in our brands so they will be well positioned when the economic conditions improve.”

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