Bakers Q4 Jumps

Bakers Footwear Group Inc. said Thursday that its fourth quarter profit rose significantly thanks to expense controls and higher full-priced selling.

The company earned $5.6 million, or 73 cents a diluted share, compared with a profit of $483,000, or 7 cents, the prior year.

Sales increased to $57.6 million from $55.5 million. Comparable-store sales rose 3.9 percent.

“Our results demonstrate the progress of our turnaround strategies that are focused on delivering compelling fashion and value to our customers and increasing inventory turns through narrow and deep assortments,” said Peter Edison, chairman and CEO of Bakers, in a written statement. “As we look ahead, we believe we are well positioned and expect another year of solid improvement in fiscal 2010.”

Bakers, however, noted in the statement that its shareholders’ equity at the end of the fiscal year did not meet the $2.5 million minimum requirement to remain listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market. It expects to receive a delisting notice from Nasdaq, whereupon Bakers said it plans to file an appeal.

For the year, the firm narrowed its loss to $9.1 million, or $1.24, compared with a loss of $15 million, or $2.13, a year ago. Net sales totaled $185.4 million, up from $183.7 million.

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