Jos. A. Bank earnings up 300% in 7th straight better quarter Apparel

November 19, 1997|By Sean Somerville | Sean Somerville,SUN STAFF

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. yesterday said third-quarter earnings jumped sharply on new-store sales and strength across its men's clothing line.

For the quarter that ended Nov. 1, the Hampstead-based manufacturer and retailer reported net income of $400,000, up 300 percent from $100,000 in the year-ago quarter. The company reported earnings per share of 6 cents, up from 2 cents.

"This is the seventh consecutive quarter of improved earnings compared to the prior year," said Chairman Timothy F. Finley.

Sales for the quarter increased 12.8 percent, to $41.5 million from $36.8 million in the year-ago period. Finley said sales are especially strong in Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., and in the Washington-New York corridor.

He said the company was benefiting from the decrease in the number of specialty stores. "There's been a shakeout in the industry and we survived it," Finley said. "I'm knocking on wood as I say these things."

The company opened 10 stores in the first nine months of the year and has plans to open another 12 to 15 next year in existing markets, including New York, Houston, Dallas, Detroit and Atlanta, Finley said.

Kenneth M. Gassman, an analyst for Davenport & Co., said Bank had higher margins resulting from fewer discounts and more sales of high-margin clothing.

Sales of an all-wool suit that doesn't wrinkle have been particularly strong, he said. The roughly $400 suit accounted for about 13 percent of sales, compared with 8 percent in the year-ago quarter, Gassman said. The company also benefited from strong catalog sales.

Pub Date: 11/19/97

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