Talbots Sales Up, Income Down

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The Talbots Inc., Hingham, MA, said yesterday that net income totaled $20 million for the fiscal second quarter ended Aug. 3 compared with $17.8 million a year ago, while total net sales fell 4 percent to $370.4 million from $384.3 million last year.

Retail store sales were $323 million, a 3 percent drop from $334.5 million in the second fiscal quarter last year. This included a drop of 10.2 percent in comparable-store sales.

Catalog sales fell 5 percent to $47.4 million from $49.8 million last year.

For the recently concluded six-month period, net income reached $55 million compared with $57.9 million a year ago. Total net sales fell 3 percent to $761.7 million from $785.4 million. Retail store sales were $644.7 million, down 2 percent from $657.6 million. Included in retail store sales was a drop of 8.7 percent in comparable-store sales.

Catalog sales fell 8 percent to $117 million, down from $127.8 million in the six-month period last year.

The company opened 18 stores in the quarter, bringing the total to 846. It also reported that it is on track to introduce the Talbots Men's line in a 24-page catalog, which will be mailed to customers in early October.

In other news:

*Brookstone Inc., Nashua, NH, said company sales for the 13 weeks ended Aug. 3 increased 2.3 percent to $71.2 million from $69.6 million in last year's fiscal second quarter, while same-store sales for the comparable 13-week period fell 3.7 percent. Direct marketing sales in the quarter rose 9.3 percent to $12.6 million. However, the company reported a net loss of $2.2 million for the quarter, including a one-time gain of $642,000 related to the curtailment of its retiree medical plan.

Year to date, company sales rose about 2.6 percent, to $127.9 million, during the 26 weeks ended Aug. 3 compared with $124.6 million in the same 26-week period in 2001. Same-store sales in the comparable 26-week period fell 3.5 percent. Direct marketing sales increased 3.2 percent, to $23 million, for the same period. Net loss to date is $8.8 million compared with last year's loss of $8 million for the same 26-week period.

"We experienced particular weakness in travel-related products and locations dependent on travel, such as airport and tourist locations, which saw same-store sales decrease approximately twice that of our other stores," chairman/president/CEO Michael Anthony said in a statement. "While we continue to believe that airports are an excellent long-term investment, in the short term they suffered from the decline in airport traffic."

* The Sports Authority Inc., Fort Lauderdale, FL, posted net income of $9.3 million in the second fiscal quarter ended Aug. 3 compared with $7.6 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2001. Sales in the quarter totaled $375.8 million, up 1.3 percent from $370.8 million. Comparable-store sales rose 0.2 percent.

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