Foot Locker slows down after weaker-than-expected fourth quarter results
US sport-lifestyle retailer Foot Locker slowed down at the end of the last financial year, posting weaker-than-expected results for the fourth quarter, which penalised its performance for 2017 as a whole. Global sales were stable (+0.2%) in the 12 months ending on 3rd February and were worth $7.782 billion (€6.32 million). In 2016, revenue grew 4.8%.
More remarkably, comparable sales were down 3.1% on an annual basis, while they had increased 4.3% in the previous financial year.
The latest financial year's fourth quarter recorded a 3.7% decrease in comparable sales. Total sales were nevertheless slightly up, by 2%, chiefly thanks to the fact that this quarter featured 53 weeks as opposed to 52 the previous year. However, Foot Locker's profitability declined, with losses for $49 million.
"Tremendous changes in consumer expectations continued to affect our business in the fourth quarter," said the US group's CEO, Richard Johnson. "Having said this, we remained a highly profitable corporation in 2017," he added. Net income reached $284 million in the financial year, though it fell by 57% compared to 2016, when it was $664 million.
Last November, Foot Locker opened a flagship store on the Champs-Elysées in Paris, and it remains cautious about the 2018 financial year, forecasting comparable sales to remain stable or to fall slightly.
After investing recently in the Carbon38 women's activewear marketplace, the Foot Locker group now operates 3,310 stores in 24 countries. In the last financial year, it closed down 147 stores (mostly in the USA), it relocated or renovated 185 stores and opened 94 new ones, notably in Europe.
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