Neiman Marcus reports modest third-quarter revenue gains

Neiman Marcus Group, Inc., Dallas, reported a 1.5% increase in third-quarter revenue.

For the 13 weeks ended May 3, the company reported total revenues of $723 million compared to $693 million in the prior year. Net earnings for the third quarter were $41 million compared to $47 million in the third quarter of 2002. Excluding the impact of implementing a new vacation policy and certain other items, as described below, adjusted earnings for the third quarter of fiscal 2002 were $42 million.

For the 39 weeks ended May 3, 2003, total revenues increased to $2.40 billion compared to $2.28 billion in the prior year and comparable revenues increased 2.3%. Third quarter net earnings were $102 million compared with $94 million, or $1.97 per diluted share, for the 39 weeks ended April 27, 2002. Adjusted earnings for the 39 weeks ended May 3, 2003 exclude the impact of adopting a new accounting standard as described below. Adjusted earnings for the 39 weeks ended April 27, 2002 exclude the impact of implementing a new vacation policy and certain other items as described below. Adjusted earnings for the 39 weeks ended May 3, 2003 were $117 million compared to $90 million for the prior year.

“Overall, given the continued challenging retail environment, I am pleased with our third quarter results,” Burton M. Tansky, president and CEO, said in a statement. “I believe our performance highlights the relative strength of the luxury category as well as our success in serving this market. We have maintained our focus on serving the affluent customer with outstanding customer service and fashion leadership.”

Based on the current sales trends, Neiman Marcus says it anticipates its comparable store revenues for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2003 to increase in the range of 2% to 4%. In addition, the company currently anticipates the decline in gross margin in the fourth quarter to approximate the decline experienced in the third quarter primarily as a result of an expected year over year increase in inventory markdowns.