R.G. Barry Corporation, the parent of Dearfoams, reported a 67.9 percent hike in net earnings in the first quarter ended Oct. 1 on a 38.5 percent revenue gain.

Its other primary brands include baggallini handbags, totes
and travel accessories baggallini.com; and Foot Petals premium insoles
and comfort products footpetals.com. 

In the quarter ended Oct. 1, earnings reached 6.9 million, or 61 cents per share, up from $4.1 million, or 37 cents, in the first quarter of fiscal 2011. Sales reached $50.2 million versus $36.3 million one year ago.
Gross profit as a percent of sales up 5.2 percentage points to 44.3 percent compared to 39.1 percent in the first quarter last year as a result of the addition of higher margin accessories sales, increased footwear volume and the elimination of costs related to expediting goods to retailers during the first quarter last year.

The company said quarterly net sales in its Footwear segment rose 16.3 percent to $42.2 million, which produced a 270 basis point increase in gross profit as a percentage of net sales to 41.8 percent. In the Accessories segment, which is being reported for the first time in this quarterly period, the Company had net sales of $8.1 million, which produced a 57.2 percent gross profit as a percentage of net sales.

“We feel very good about the direction of our overall business,” said Greg Tunney, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our Footwear segment is performing well and the Accessories business units are fully integrated and meeting all of our expectations.

“Footwear remains our largest business, and we are focused on it as we enter the important holiday selling season. We have refined our model, invested in our brands and placed the right products in the right retail venues. Based upon these actions and our long history of successful leadership in accessories footwear, we are confident in our ability to meet the objectives we have set for this segment at retail during the next eight weeks. Our Accessories segment is much more seasonally balanced and comprised primarily of non-promotional replenishment business. We foresee steady, healthy growth for it this year.”

Jose Ibarra, Senior Vice President Finance and Chief Financial Officer, added, “We view our first quarter results as the initial validation that the evolution of our business model is working as planned. Many of our financial metrics are, with this quarter, beginning to reflect the positive impact of our fiscal 2011 acquisitions and our refocused core business. We expect to continue to see these benefits during the remainder of fiscal 2012 and beyond. We also intend to maintain our strategy of deploying capital in support of initiatives that we believe can drive and sustain long-term growth and continue to increase shareholder value.”

Tunney concluded, “A year ago, we were talking about our vision of a much broader business in terms of products, seasonality and customer/consumer demographics. This year, that vision has become a reality and the foundation upon which we will continue to grow well beyond fiscal 2012. Our refocused Footwear segment continues to benefit from our investment in strategic marketing initiatives. We will re-launch the baggallini brand early next year with a new look and new focus on growth. Foot Petals is experiencing significant success as it enters new markets.

“Based upon our current view of fiscal 2012 and the successful integration of our recent acquisitions, we will continue our search later this fiscal year for appropriate businesses to purchase. We will continue using the disciplined filter that guided our acquisitions of Foot Petals and baggallini; and we will continue seeking out and identifying only profitable, growing businesses that can help us diversify our business model and expand our portfolio of accessories brands.”