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 Breaking Headlines

Today's news...8/24/05

AUGUST 24, 2005 -- GSI EVP Leaves Within Days

Effective August 18, '05, GSI Commerce accepted the resignation of Patrick Vogt. Vogt had served as EVP/general and specialty business. He resigned from the company to pursue another opportunity. According to an SEC filing, Vogt only joined the company on August 8.

Soffe 4Q Sales, Profit Declined; Delta Acquires T-Shirt Firm

Soffe, a subsidiary of Delta Apparel, contributed $25.6 million in sales for 4Q05, a $5.5 million decrease, or 17.7%. 4Q04 sales were an all-time record for the Soffe business, and included 14 weeks of shipping, as compared to 13 weeks of shipping in 4Q05. The sales decline is also attributable to a reduction in retail re-orders shipped during 4Q. Sales for FY05 were $84.6 million, and increase of $13.9 million, or 19.7%, from the prior year. Operating income for 4Q05 decreased from $6.1 million to $4.4 million due to the lower sales volume and shift in the mix of products sold during the quarter. For the year, operating income was $10.4 million, an 8.2% increase from the prior year level of $9.6 million.

Delta also announced another acquisition. It completed the purchase of substantially all of the assets of privately held Junkfood Clothing. The purchase price consisted of $20 million of cash, a $2.5 million seller promissory note and contingent payments with respect to each of the four fiscal years following closing, payable if certain performance targets are met.

Liquid Blaino Designs, d/b/a Junkfood Clothing, is owned by designers Natalie Grof and Blaine Halvorson. In '98, they began a T-shirt line with licenses such as Twister, Candy Land and My Little Pony. Over the past seven years, it has experienced impressive growth through innovative designs and great sense of style. For the 12 months ended June 30, '05, Junkfood Clothing had sales of approximately $27 million. Delta Apparel expects the acquisition to add approximately $33-$38 million in sales and 30¢-35¢ in FY06 EPS.

New Balance Euro Order Book Up 54%

Alistair Cameron, GM of New Balance EMEA, reported that with an order book up 54% for 1H06 and YTD sales revenue forecast at +22% for '05, the company is already reaping the rewards of the significant investments made in product development and marketing during '05.

There continues to be growth for the more specialist brands in the running category across Europe with the latest NPD statistics confirming that New Balance I sthe fastest growing running brand of the past three years.

In response to this trend New Balance EMEA has announced a new marketing structure, with Eve Davies (formerly with Speedo for 15 years and responsible for the development and launch of the Fastskin project) now heading up the marketing and product team.

The Euro company has have reorganized into to three main categories around three target consumer segments of Elite, Fitness and Lifestyle. Category Managers are Nick Pope for Elite Running, Glen Wilkinson for Fitness and Robert Ward for Lifestyle. (Source: SGB UK)

Fleet Feet System's 1Q Revenues Up 27%

Fleet Feet, the franchisor of running specialty stores, announced 2Q sales for its 67 stores were up 26.9% over the same period last year. With $13.5 million in sales, Fleet Feet recorded the first, second and fourth largest sales months in the company's 28-year history. Comp-store sales were up 18.4% over 2Q04.

Sales for 1H05 were up 22.2% with $25 million in sales. Comp-store sales for the six months were up 14.7%. "Results like this don't happen without a laser-like focus on servicing our customers," said Fleet Feet president Jeff Phillips. "Our vendors are providing timely delivery of high quality products and our franchisees are consistently exceeding their customers' expectations. Our numbers for '05 prove this powerful combination really works."

Three new stores opened during 2Q were in Gaithersburg, MD; Kailua, HI; and Elmhurst, IL for a total of six new stores this year.


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Quick links: One-click access to topics in this article.

Sporting goods industry
Comparable-store sales
Apparel manufacturing

Delta Apparel Inc.
GSI Commerce Inc.
Fleet Feet
New Balance Inc.
Liquid Blaino Designs

operating income
target consumer segments
product development
marketing structure
revenue forecast

Patrick Vogt
Natalie Grof
Blaine Halvorson
Alistair Cameron
Eve Davies

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