R.G. Barry Corporation earned $6.1 million, or 54 cents per share, in the first quarter ended Sept. 29, down 11.0 percent from $6.9
million, or 61 cents, a year ago.

Net sales reached $47.2 million versus net sales of $50.2 million one year ago.

Gross profit as a percent of sales at 44.3 percent, flat versus the first quarter last year. Selling, general and administrative expenses of $11.0 million versus $10.9 million in the comparable period one year ago.

The company said quarterly net sales in its Footwear segment, although down $3.9 million from the comparable period last year, reflected a gross profit as a percentage of net sales at 41.4 percent, which was relatively flat versus the first quarter of fiscal 2012. In its Accessories segment, the Company's net sales increased 11.2 percent, or $900,000 quarter-over-quarter, to approximately $9.0 million, producing a 56.6 percent gross profit as a percentage of net sales, or a 60 bps decline versus the comparable quarter last year.

Management Comments

“These results are in line with our expectations for the quarter and with the direction we provided in our two previous earnings calls,” said Greg Tunney, President and Chief Executive Officer.

“Footwear remains our largest business, and it is performing quite well despite the impact of customer internal issues that frequently disrupt retailers. As we enter the critical holiday selling season, we are enthusiastic about our prospects. We have continued building upon our legacy of category leadership; and remain confident that the fresh, new products flowing onto our customers' shelves will meet or exceed expectations for the upcoming season and beyond.

“Excitement surrounds our Accessories segment. This small but growing higher-margin piece of our business is much more evenly spread across the year, and lends a modest degree of balance to our heavily seasonal Footwear segment. We also continue investing in a strong foundation upon which the Accessories businesses will continue to grow.”

“Increased footwear sales in some of our newer retail channels, such as catalogs, dot coms and home shopping, helped offset a portion of the softness we experienced in more traditional channels and helped us achieve a healthy 41.4 percent gross profit as a percent of net footwear sales for the quarter,” added Jose Ibarra, Senior Vice President Finance and Chief Financial Officer.

“The 11 percent quarter-over-quarter increase in Accessories net sales is at the lower end of our expected range. We expect top-line growth in the segment to return to the mid-teens by the end of Fiscal 2013. We are pleased with the relative stability of the gross profit margins in Accessories at nearly 57 percent. The quarterly operating profit reported for the segment reflects continuing investment spending focused on building these businesses for the long-term.”

Looking Ahead Tunney concluded, “We said previously that we expect fiscal 2013 to be a challenging year. We remain confident in our vision and the successful future of our Company. We have a solid growth strategy, financial health, strong brands and a proven cash-generating model that adapts to the cyclical nature of the broad accessories business category. We will have a much better view of our full fiscal year when we report on the second quarter in February.”

RG Barry's primary brands include: Dearfoams slippers; baggallini handbags, totes and travel accessories; and Foot Petals premium insoles and comfort products.