Flagship brand leads sales growth at Steve Madden

New York-based footwear and accessories group Steve Madden, Ltd. announced record first-quarter results on Thursday, with progress made across both its retail and wholesale segments, and its namesake Steve Madden brand leading the way.
 

Steve Madden's flagship brand helped drive solid gains in the first quarter - Instagram: @stevemadden

For the first quarter ended March 31, 2019, the company, whose brands include Steve Madden, Betsey Johnson and Dolce Vita, reported net sales of $410.9 million, up 5.6% compared to $389.0 million in the prior-year period.
 
The company’s wholesale segment saw a 5.1% increase in sales to $348.1 million, with particularly strong gains made in accessories. Wholesale footwear sales also increased slightly, according to the company, with growth driven by the Steve Madden brand and the addition of Anne Klein to its portfolio, and partially offset by unrecognized sales resulting from the bankruptcy of Payless ShoeSource.
 
Retail net sales were up 8.6% in the quarter, totaling $62.8 million, compared to $57.9 million in Q1 2018. Here progress was driven primarily by a 6.3% increase in same-store sales, which benefited from strong growth in Steve Madden, Ltd.’s e-commerce channel.
 
The company’s quarterly net income came to $34.5 million, or $0.41 per diluted share, up from $28.7 million, or $0.33 per diluted share, in the equivalent period in the previous year.
 
“We are off to a strong start in 2019, with first quarter results exceeding our expectations. Our flagship Steve Madden brand was the highlight in the quarter with robust increases in the wholesale footwear and accessories businesses as well as outstanding performance on stevemadden.com,” said the company’s chairman and CEO Edward Rosenfeld in a release.
 
“Looking ahead, we are confident that, based on our strong brand portfolio, consistency in delivering on-trend product and proven business model, we are well-positioned to drive sustainable growth and shareholder value over the long term,” he concluded.
 
In line with its positive first-quarter results, the company has improved its financial outlook for fiscal year 2019 and now expects sales to increase between 5% and 7%, up from a prior guidance of 4% to 6%. Annual diluted EPS is now predicted to be in the range of $1.76 to $1.84, compared to the previously reported range of between $1.70 and $1.78.
 
Steve Madden’s updated outlook helped push shares in the company up 5.7% in Thursday trading according to figures cited by MarketWatch.
 
At the end of the first quarter, the company operated 225 retail locations, of which seven are internet stores and a further 33 are international concessions.

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