Bakers’ Loss Widens in Q2

Poor sandal sales continued to plague Bakers Footwear Group Inc., which reported a second-quarter loss on Tuesday.

For the period ended July 31, the St. Louis-based company recorded a net loss of $2.1 million, or 28 cents, compared with a loss of $1.7 million, or 24 cents, in the same period a year ago.

Operating losses also widened to $1.6 million, from $1.2 million last year.

Net sales for the quarter were down slightly to $43.3 million, from $43.7 million.  Cash and cash equivalents stood at $149,900 at the end of the quarter, down from $152,700.

Bakers also ended the quarter with negative shareholders’ equity of $3.2 million, after selling $5 million in subordinated debentures to Steven Madden Ltd. last month, giving Madden a nearly 20 percent stake in the company.

Peter Edison, chairman and CEO of Bakers, said the “disappointing” second-quarter performance was “driven by a lackluster response to our sandal offerings, which led to increased promotional activity during the quarter.”

“We remain optimistic about our opportunities for the fall and holiday seasons. Our strong early selling in key categories, including boots and dress shoes, coupled with the introduction of new brands, reflect the favorable reaction to our fall product that is expected to drive positive comparable-store sales in the second half of the year at increasing margins,” Edison added in a statement.

Bakers’ third-quarter comps through Sept. 4 are up 0.3 percent, and the firm’s business plan for fiscal 2010 is based on mid-single-digit increases in comps for the rest of the year.

The plan will reflect continued management of cash flow, but does not indicate a return to profitability, said the company, which delisted from the Nasdaq on Aug. 27 after failing to meet the minimum stockholders’ equity requirement under the exchange’s listing rules.

Bakers’ common stock has traded on the OTC Bulletin Board since June 18.

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