Collective Brands narrows Q4 loss

Topeka, Kan. -- Collective Brands, the parent company of Payless ShoeSource, said Wednesday that its net loss narrowed slightly in the fourth quarter as sales improved in its wholesale unit. The performance beat Wall Street expectations.

For the three months ended Jan. 29, Collective Brands lost $10.1 million, compared with a loss of $10.9 million in the year-ago period.

Net sales increased 4% to $773.8 million, boosted by growth in the company’s wholesale segment and international stores. Comparable-store sales -- including international locations -- rose 0.4%.

Collective Brands said an increase in price markdowns and higher product and freight costs cut into its sales.

Full year 2010 net income was $112.8 million.