For the first quarter, Brown Shoe Company reported net sales of 602.3 million dollars up 1.9 percent versus first quarter 2014 net sales of 591.2 million dollars. Net earnings of 19.3 million dollars, or 0.44 dollars per diluted share, were up 24.8 percent against 15.4 million dollars, or 0.35 dollars per diluted share. Gross margin of 41.3 percent was up approximately 30 basis points year-over-year, while operating margin of 5 percent was up approximately 10 basis points.

“First quarter exceeded our expectations virtually across the board – including sales, margin and earnings — despite a late start to spring and caution around potential west coast port delays,” said Diane Sullivan, CEO, President and Chairman of Brown Shoe Company.

Famous Footwear sales of 360 million dollars were up 1.5 percent year-over-year, excluding, which was sold in December 2014. For the quarter, same-store-sales were up 3.1 percent, with performance driven by continued strength in canvas, residual boot sales, and spring sandals. During the quarter, 13 stores were closed and 15 new stores were opened.

Brand Portfolio sales of 242.3 million dollars were up 7.9 percent. Performance in the quarter was driven by a 9.1 percent improvement in Healthy Living, combined with a 4.9 percent improvement in Contemporary Fashion sales. Consolidated gross profit of 248.5 million dollars was up 2.6 percent, while gross margin of 41.3 percent was up approximately 30 basis points year-over-year.

Commenting on the outlook, Ken Hannah, Chief Financial Officer of the company said, “With the strong sales and margin performance we saw in the first quarter, we feel comfortable raising our diluted EPS guidance range for 2015 to 1.84 dollars to 1.94 dollars.”


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