Blair Reports Lower Net Income Despite Sales Rise

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Blair Corp., Warren, PA, said yesterday that net sales in the second quarter totaled $154.34 million compared with $147.51 million in the same period a year ago.


However, net income for the direct marketer of apparel and home products was $4.1 million, down from $7.03 million in last year's second quarter.


Also, net sales in the first six months of the year were $291.36 million compared with $282.77 million in the first six months of 2002. Yet net income for the recently concluded six-month period totaled $4.6 million, down from $12.63 million a year ago.


The company attributed the reduction in second-quarter net income mainly to a rise in the cost of goods sold and advertising expenses. Cost of goods sold as a percentage of net sales increased to 47.1 percent in the quarter from 46.7 percent in the comparable quarter last year.


The company's Crossing Pointe catalog and e-commerce initiatives are increasing revenue and growing its customer files, president/CEO John E. Zawacki said in a statement. Blair.com generated $36 million in gross demand in the first six months of 2003 compared with $27.4 million last year.


Also, the company recently created a wholly owned subsidiary, Allegheny Trail Corp. It will target mainly outdoor sporting goods and recreational retailers and will offer a core product line of men's and women's outdoor apparel basics.


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