Despite loss, Liz Claiborne delivers sales growth

NEW YORK — Liz Claiborne, the parent company behind such premium brands as Juicy Couture, Kate Spade and Lucky Brand, department store-based brands including Kensie and the licensed DKNY Jeans and DKNY Active brands and its own retail brands, reported second quarter net sales of $556 million, an increase of 3.5% from the second quarter last year. 

According the company, the sales increase was due to an increase in sales at its domestic-based direct brands and international-based direct brands segments, offset by a decline in sales at its partnered brands segment.

The company reported that net loss in the second quarter of 2011 was $90 million compared with a net loss of $87 million.Loss per share was 95 cents in the second quarter of 2011 compared with a loss per share of 92 cents in the second quarter of 2010.

William McComb, CEO of Liz Claiborne, said, "We were pleased overall with direct to consumer comparable sales results in the second quarter. Kate Spade posted exceptional results once again, as the brand team continues to drive profitable growth across the entire business. Lucky Brand saw a continuation of the strong momentum that began in the first quarter, as they are experiencing great consumer response to their assortments. At Juicy Couture, we look forward to exciting changes in design, merchandising, visual presentation and marketing in the coming quarters and we are encouraged by the meaningful international growth opportunities for this brand. At Mexx Europe, the wholesale business continues to see healthy growth while in the direct to consumer channel, we continue our efforts on improving profitability through improved full-price selling and the closure of unprofitable stores. In Partnered Brands, we remain on track to generate positive adjusted operating income for the year, where the strong performance of the Liz Claiborne brand license at JCPenney continues."