Syms Q1 Profit Drops

by MR Magazine Staff

NEW YORK – Syms Corp.’s first quarter profits dropped on higher sales during its first quarter.

In the three months ended June 2, the Secaucus, NJ-based off-pricer’s net income fell to $674,000, or $0.05 a share, 88.3% lower than the $5.7 million, or $0.38, registered during the first quarter of 2006.

However, without a $10.4 million gain from the sale of its stores in Dallas, Texas, and Rochester, NY, in the year-ago quarter, Syms would have incurred a net loss before taxes of $98,000.

Sales during the quarter rose 1.4% to $67.1 million from $66.2 million in last year’s quarter. Comparable-store sales increased 5.6%.

Gross margin rose to 42.1% in the three weeks from 41.9% in the prior-year period. The company attributed the increase to lower markdowns on higher sales.

The company, which issued its results without additional comment from management, said that selling, general and administrative costs were $18.3 million, down from $18.7 million in last year’s quarter. Those numbers equate to 27.3% of sales in the more recent quarter and 28.2% one year ago.

Advertising expenses dropped to $2.8 million, or 4.2% of sales, from $3.1 million, of 4.6%.

Syms operates 34 off-price apparel stores in the eastern half of the US.