I.C. Isaacs & Co., a Baltimore-and New York-based sportswear maker, reported yesterday that cost-cutting narrowed its loss in the second quarter and said it expects a profit in this quarter.
I.C. Isaacs posted a loss of $2.3 million, or 30 cents per share, compared with a $2.8 million loss, or 37 cents per share, for the comparable period in 2000.
Net sales dropped 22 percent to $18.5 million for the second quarter, which ended June 30. For the corresponding period last year, I.C. Isaacs had sales of $23.6 million.
Over the past several months, I.C. Isaacs has cut expenses in the face of a cooling economy and weak retail sales, company officials said. It terminated a licensing contract to make and sell clothing under the Boss brand name in last year's fourth quarter, after sales of that line had fallen in recent years.
It also has terminated more than 10 employees, according to Chief Financial Officer Eugene C. Wielepski, though he would not give a precise figure.
As a result of the lower licensing, manufacturing and administrative costs, I.C. Isaacs' operating expenses fell 20 percent to $6.9 million from $8.6 million in the similar year-ago period. Operating losses declined 32 percent to $1.75 million from $2.58 million in last year's second quarter.
I.C. Isaacs pays licensing fees to make and sell several lines of clothing, including Marithe and Francois Girbaud, Beverly Hills Polo Club, and Urban Expedition. It sells apparel in the United States, Canada, Europe and Puerto Rico.
The company reported a 4.1 percent increase in sales of its Girbaud clothing line, while its other two lines were down.
"The focus is going to be on Girbaud going forward," Wielepski said.
"Although we offered at one time many different products, that's the product that the market wants."
Wielepski said the company expects to post a profit in the third quarter, but he declined to give a number. He also declined to release earnings guidance for the entire year.
Wielepski said that returning to profitability is a key to the company's regaining its Nasdaq stock market listing. The company was delisted last month for failing to meet the requirement for its stock price to be higher than $1 for 30 days.
Shares of I.C. Isaacs rose 4 cents yesterday to 35 cents in over-the-counter trading.
For the six months that ended June 30, I.C. Isaacs' net sales slipped 11 percent to $43 million from $48.3 million for the comparable year-ago period. Net losses declined 38 percent to $1.68 million from $2.7 million in the year-ago period.