Sportswear retailer Foot Locker has booked a 59.5% rise in second-quarter net profit on the back of a positive sales performance in North America and Europe, beating the Street in the second quarter.
For the period ended July 28, the New York-based specialty athletic retailer earned a net income surged to US$59m, or 39 cents a share, compared to $37m, or 24 cents, in the same period a year ago. Gross margin increased 90 basis points.
Revenues increased 7.2% to $1.37bn, from $1.28 billion, on the back of a comparable-store sales increase of 9.8 percent. Analysts were expecting earnings per share of 33 cents on revenue of $1.35 billion. Excluding the effect of foreign currency fluctuations, total sales were up 10.6%.
Positive results were driven by Nike’s lightweight and technical running products, the firm said. Domestic comps rose in the low teens in the second quarter, while Foot Locker Europe’s comp-store sales were essentially flat. The international divisions posted mid-single-digit comp gains, while the direct-to-customer segment advanced 18.1 percent.
Ken Hicks, chairman and CEO, said: “We have achieved consistently strong financial and operational results since we began implementing our long-term plan over two years ago. This consistency was also evident with the good profitability we achieved this quarter across our divisions, from the North American stores, to Europe, and to our direct-to-customer business.”
During the first half of the year, the company opened 47 new stores, remodeled/relocated 109 and closed 62, taking its total number of stores to 3,354. Hicks also said more store changes are expected in the back half. The firm is now testing 11 stores for the Champs prototype, and has several Foot Locker test stores on tap for this winter into next spring.
“We intend to open three new concept stores for Lady Foot Locker before the holiday selling season. These stores will be merchandised significantly different than a Lady Foot Locker store with much more apparel, stronger coordination between shoes and apparel and more emphasis on performance. These stores will have a new nameplate over the door, which we will announce later in the quarter,” Hicks said on a conference call with analysts Friday.
Foot Locker ended the period with cash and short-term investments of $820 million and long-term debt of $133 million.