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Genesco 4Q Profit Rises As Do Company Shares

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) ¿ Genesco, which runs thousands of retail stores that sell shoes and hats, said Thursday that online and catalog sales boosted its fourth-quarter profit.

President and CEO Robert Dennis said all of the company's businesses are beating end-of-year comparable sales and shares rose 6 percent, to $27.36 in morning trading.

Comparable sales in February jumped 10 percent at Hat World stores and 13 percent at Underground Station, which sells shoes.

Overall net income increased 12 percent to $25.9 million, or $1.08 per share, compared with $23.2 million, or $1.05 per share, a year earlier.

Net income for the quarter increased 12 percent to $25.9 million, or $1.08 per share, compared with $23.2 million, or $1.05 per share, a year earlier.

Taking out 8 cents per share related to asset impairment charges and other items, profit was $1.16 per share.

The performance beat the $1.12 per-share forecast of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. These estimates typically exclude one-time items.

Sales climbed 6 percent to $479 million, easily beating Wall Street expectations of $466.5 million.

Sales at stores open at least a year were flat. For the Hat World Group, the key sales figure rose 6 percent, while results for Journeys Group fell 3 percent. At Underground Station, sales at stores open at least a year dipped 2 percent, while Johnston & Murphy retail climbed 2 percent.

This figure is a key indicator of retailer performance since it measures growth at existing stores rather than newly opened ones.

It was a rough year, however, for almost all retailers, with millions of consumers holding off on goods that are not essential. Joblessness hovered around 10 percent and many people stowed away money.

Genesco's full-year, profit declined 81 percent to $28.8 million, or $1.30 per share, from $150.8 million, or $6.49 per share, in the prior year.

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