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Finish Line performs better than expected

Sales at Indianapolis-based athletic footwear and apparel retailer Finish Line grew 13.3% to $436 million and earnings per share increase 10.2% to 54 cents, nine cents better than analysts forecast for the period ended August 31.

Company chairman and CEO Glenn Lyon characterized the performance as solid, and credited a 0.9% comp increase and expense control for profit growth.

“The combination of positive comparable sales and good expense control drove a 10% increase in earnings per share over last year. At the same time, we continued to make good progress building our business with Macy’s and growing our Running Specialty Group,” Lyon said. “Looking ahead, we are cognizant of the headwinds currently facing the retail industry and this has been incorporated into our near-term planning. We remain confident that our strategy to create a leading multi-divisional, omni-channel business will lead to sustainable sales and earnings growth and increased shareholder value over the long term.”

Finish Line struck a deal with Macy’s last year to operate athletic shoe departments in its department stores. The deal was a boon for Finish Line which ended the quarter managing athletic footwear departments in 660 Macy’s stores compared to 658 of its own brand, mall-based stores.

Looking forward, Finish Line issued a slightly rosier sales forecast, calling for comps to increase in the low single digits rather than an earlier forecast of a slight increase, but maintained its full year profit forecast of $1.47 a share.
 

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