Williams-Sonoma Plans Teen Catalog for Pottery Barn

Williams-Sonoma Inc. revealed a plan yesterday to begin a new catalog next month and released better-than-expected results for fourth-quarter 2002. However it also warned that earnings for 2003 would not meet previous estimates.

The San Francisco-based retailer and cataloger said it would start a catalog under its Pottery Barn brand the week of April 21. The book, to be titled PBteen, will feature furniture, rugs, lighting, bedding and accessories aimed at the teen market and will be modeled after teen magazines, the company said.

The company would not elaborate on the new catalog. A statement said that the financial effect of the new book was included in the company's 2003 guidance. PBteen might account for the company's projection that catalog circulation for 2003 would rise 14 percent to 17 percent.

In a separate announcement, Williams-Sonoma reported net income of $79.8 million, or 67 cents per share, for the 13 weeks ended Feb. 2, 2003. That was up 15 percent from the 14-week period ended Feb. 3, 2002, which totaled $69.4 million, or 59 cents a share. Direct-to-consumer net sales for the period were $255.2 million, up 9.3 percent over the previous year's figure of $233.5 million.

The PBteen announcement also included guidance for fiscal year 2003, stating the company's expectations that direct-to-consumer sales would range from $905 million to $945 million, up 13.4 percent to 18.4 percent over 2002.

Williams-Sonoma projected shipping fees at $166 million to $176 million for 2003, up 13.7 percent to 20.5 percent.

It also said that earnings would be $1.20 to $1.24 a share on revenue of $2.64 billion to $2.73 billion. Analysts are looking for earnings of $1.23 a share on revenue of $2.36 billion. The company estimates same-store sales growth of 1 percent to 3 percent for the fiscal year.

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