Brown Shoe Co. reported fourth-quarter operating profit at the Famous Footwear chain jumped 49.2% to $22.5 million. Revenues grew 13% to $320.9 million on a 2.9% comp gain. Famous Footwear’s bottom line was helped by an increase in regular-priced sales as gross margins improved 110 basis points.

By category, athletics was up 1.7%, led by Nike, Asics and skate. Women’s continued its momentum with a 4.3% gain, paced by Skechers in the junior casual area. Men’s was up 2.9% on strength in dress. Kid’s was up 6.5%. Joe Wood, president of the Famous Footwear division, told analysts the strength in kid’s is “a direct reflection of our successful positioning against our trend-current female consumer, thus capturing her children's share of wallet.”

Overall, Wood believes Footwear Footwear’s record year reflects the chain’s success in identifying key trends and vendors in the marketplace, backed by a strong inventory commitment, relevant in-store messaging, and a greater emphasis on radio advertising over print and circular.

Company-wide, Brown’s fourth quarter net income rose 1.6% to $13.6 million, or 46 cents a share. In the year-ago quarter, it earned $13.4 million, or 47 cents a share. Net sales increased 6.6% to $639.3 million, led by Famous Footwear and the Naturalizer, LifeStride and Dr. Scholl’s brands in its wholesale segment.