Income from continuing operations increased 26.8 percent, or approximately $3.5 million, to $16.6 million, or $0.25 per share, including the aforementioned gain, compared with income from continuing operations of $13.1 million, or $0.20 per share, in the prior year period.
Jim McCann, CEO of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, said, “During the fiscal second quarter we achieved solid revenue growth across the enterprise. This was driven, in large part, by strong performance in our consumer floral business where we saw a continuation of positive trends in sales and gross margin. In this area we are benefiting from several initiatives, including enhancements we have made in merchandising to emphasize our truly original product designs, particularly those arrangements designed and delivered by our BloomNet florists, and in our marketing programs where we are engaging directly with our customers and deepening our relationships through our industry leading efforts in Social and Mobile commerce.
“Revenues in our BloomNet wire service business grew at a double-digit pace during the second quarter, driven by a combination of increased shop-to-shop order volume and further market penetration for our expanded suite of products and services. In our Gourmet Food and Gift Baskets segment we saw solid growth in our ecommerce channels which helped us achieve year-over-year growth in the category despite weakness in wholesale gift baskets.”
McCann noted that during the second quarter the Company significantly accelerated its Fannie May Fine Chocolates franchise program by signing a 62-store deal with a leading national franchising organization. “Fannie May is an iconic chocolate brand which, at one time, had more than 250 stores stretching from Minnesota to Florida. We see franchising as a tremendous opportunity to cost efficiently expand the Fannie May brand footprint and customer awareness and thereby drive retail and ecommerce revenue growth going forward,” he said.During the fiscal second quarter, the Company attracted 612,000 new customers. Approximately 1.6 million customers placed orders during the quarter, of whom 61 percent were repeat customers. This reflects the Company’s successful efforts to engage with its customers and deepen its relationships as their trusted Florist and Gift Shop for all of their celebratory occasions.