Fifth & Pacific First-Quarter Loss Narrows as Kate Spade Soars

Kate Spade Spring 2013 Campaign | Source: Kate Spade

NEW YORK, United States — Fifth & Pacific Cos Inc on Thursday reported a smaller first-quarter loss, as sales of its upscale Kate Spade handbag and clothing brand soared and the company offered fewer discounts on its Lucky Brand items.

The net loss narrowed to $52.2 million, or 44 cents per share, from $60.6 million, or 60 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding special items, the loss from continuing operations came to 16 cents per share.

Sales of Kate Spade products, now the company’s biggest brand, rose 63.1 percent to $141 million, while at Lucky Brand, known for its contemporary clothing, they were up 16.5 percent at $117 million.

Fifth & Pacific’s other major brand, Juicy Couture, continued to struggle, with sales down 10.7 percent at $98 million, dragging down the company’s overall gross margin 1.6 percentage points to 54.9 percent of sales.

Companywide, sales were up 17.2 percent at $371.8 million, above the $360.5 million Wall Street was expecting, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.