West Marine, Inc. reported that net sales for the six weeks ended January 3, 2004 were $53.1 million, a 44.2% increase from net sales of $36.8 million for the five week period a year ago. Comparable store net sales for December increased 2.3% compared to the similar period a year ago. Sales from 62 BoatU.S. stores acquired in January 2003 from Boat America are included in total sales, but are not reflected in comparable store sales statistics.
Net sales for the fourteen weeks ended January 3, 2004 were $124.3 million, an increase of 34.2% from net sales of $92.6 million for the thirteen week period a year ago. Comparable store net sales for the latest quarter increased 2.9% compared to the similar period a year ago.
Net sales for the fifty-three weeks ended January 3, 2004 were $660.3 million, an increase of 24.5% from net sales of $530.6 million for the fifty-two week period ended December 28, 2002. Comparable store net sales for the year decreased -2.5% compared to the similar fifty-three week period for the prior year.
John Edmondson, CEO of West Marine, said, “December sales were soft during the first half of the month and strengthened significantly during the remainder of December. While comparable store sales were slightly less than our expectations, our gross margin results exceeded our expectations. As a result we remain comfortable with our fourth quarter guidance of a loss in the range of ($0.11) to ($0.09) per share. Comparable sales by region were Southeast 4.4%, Northeast -0.2% and West Coast -0.4%.”