Coldwater Creek Inc. generated $318.4 million in fourth-quarter 2009 sales, compared with $283.2 million in fourth quarter 2008. Direct sales (including phone and Internet) were $97.3 million, up from $83.5 million in fourth quarter 2008. The retail channel pulled in $221 million versus $199.7 million in the year-ago fourth quarter.
The company took a net loss for the most recent fourth quarter of $9.7 million, compared with a net loss of $18.6 million a year ago.
Gross profit for the fiscal 2009 fourth quarter was $90.3 million, or 28.4% of sales, compared with $76.0 million, or 26.8% of net sales, for the fiscal 2008 fourth quarter. Fourth quarter 2009 selling, general and administrative expenses were $105.2 million, or 33% percent of net sales, compared with $110.3 million, or 38.9% of net sales, a year earlier.
According to the company, the drop-off in expenses was driven by lower employee costs, which were partially offset by higher marketing expense compared with the fourth quarter if last year.
“Our fourth quarter results were significantly ahead of the prior year as we began to see an improvement in our comparable store sales and direct revenue, as well as a modest expansion in merchandise margin,