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Lands' End profits rise after split from Sears [The Wisconsin State Journal :: ]
[June 12, 2014]

Lands' End profits rise after split from Sears [The Wisconsin State Journal :: ]

(Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) June 12--Profits soared 48 percent for Lands' End, of Dodgeville, in its return to a stand-alone, publicly traded company.

In its first quarterly report since splitting from parent company Sears Holdings Corp. on April 4, Lands' End said it had net income of $10.9 million, or 34 cents a share, on revenues of $330.5 million for the quarter that ended May 2. That's up from net income of $7.3 million, or 23 cents a share, on revenues of $319 million for the first quarter of 2013.

"We are very happy and very proud that we are operating independently again," said president and CEO Edgar Huber, in an interview. "It's a great, great opportunity for Lands' End. There's a lot of potential for the future." Lands' End was purchased by Sears in 2002 for nearly $2 billion.

In spite of a decrease in the number of Lands' End Shops at Sears and in redemption credits from Sears' Shop Your Way promotion, sales of Lands' End's clothing and home goods increased at the remaining stores and through direct, online sales, the company said. Huber credited the company's product mix, marketing, and efforts to modernize the brand.

He said in 2013, the company began using "much better customer analytics, which allowed us to be much more targeted" and improved profit margins.

Huber said some Lands' End Shops at Sears were lost by the closing of Sears stores, and others through the agreement between the two companies to pull out Lands' End's presence or reduce its square footage.

There were 251 Lands' End Shops at Sears and 14 inlet stores as of May 2, down from 274 shops at Sears and 16 inlet stores as of Jan. 31, 2014.

Administrative costs rose $1 million over last year due to more financial and legal staff needed as a public company, Huber said.

Lands' End is working toward becoming "a global lifestyle brand," he said, in a news release.

"I'm extremely confident and also very happy to be with Lands' End. We are looking into a very bright future," Huber said later.

Lands' End has 6,400 employees worldwide.

Shares of Lands' End stock jumped as much as 16.4 percent, to $31, in early trading Thursday and closed at $28.81 a share, up $2.18, an 8.19 percent increase from Wednesday's close.

___ (c)2014 The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wis.) Visit The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wis.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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