Stronger Sales Help Bakers Narrow Loss

Bakers Footwear Group Inc. continued modest improvement in the second quarter.

Buoyed by a 4.7 percent increase in comparable-store sales, the St. Louis-based firm saw a 2.3 percent increase in revenue to $43.3 million.

For the period ended July 30, the firm narrowed its loss to $1.6 million, or 17 cents a share, from a loss $2.1 million, or 28 cents, in the same period a year ago.

Gross profit margin also improved 180 basis points, to 29.3 percent, reflecting strength in higher-margin dress shoes and improved leverage of buying and occupancy costs, the firm said.

“During the quarter, our customers responded favorably to our dress and club assortments, which more than offset a challenging casual sandal season. We also saw continued strength in our exclusive H by Halston and Wild Pair brands, which we believe have served to increase customer loyalty and broaden our consumer reach,” Peter Edison, chairman and CEO of Bakers, said in a statement.

He added, “Our comparable-store sales are improving as the fall season progresses, reflecting continued positive trends in closed footwear in all categories.”

Based on the company’s business plan, Bakers believes it has adequate liquidity to fund anticipated working capital requirements and expects to be in compliance with its financial covenants throughout the remainder of 2011.

Bakers ended the period with $45.2 million in current assets and $39.9 million in current liabilities.

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