Earnings before interest and taxes for the Heritage Brands business was $26.6 million, an increase of 152% as compared to the prior year’s fourth quarter of $10.5 million on a non-GAAP basis and an increase of 178% as compared to the prior year’s fourth quarter of $9.6 million on a GAAP basis. The significant increase in earnings before interest and taxes was attributable to increases across the Company’s Heritage Brands Dress Furnishings, Sportswear and Retail businesses, driven principally by an overall operating margin increase of 380 basis points that was fueled by strong gross margin improvement. The strong gross margin increase was driven by the Company’s exit of the lower-margin Izod women’s and Timberland wholesale sportswear businesses, coupled with an increase in average unit retail selling prices and lower product costs. The increase in earnings before interest and taxes on a GAAP basis was also attributable to the absence of approximately $1.0 million of costs incurred in the fourth quarter of 2011 in connection with the exit of businesses mentioned above.
Fourth Quarter Consolidated Earnings:
On a non-GAAP basis, earnings before interest and taxes increased 38% to $180.3 million from $130.3 million in the prior year’s fourth quarter. Driving the overall increase in non-GAAP earnings before interest and taxes was (i) an increase of $31.5 million in the Tommy Hilfiger business; (ii) an increase of $16.0 million in the Heritage Brands business; and (iii) an increase of $3.7 million in the Calvin Klein business.
On a GAAP basis, earnings before interest and taxes increased 217% to $109.9 million as compared to $34.7 million in the prior year’s fourth quarter. The increase was due principally to the net effect of the changes discussed above, combined with the net effect of (i) a $48.0 million decrease in recognized actuarial losses on retirement plans; (ii) a $13.4 million decrease in integration and restructuring costs associated with the Tommy Hilfiger acquisition and exit costs associated with the Izod women’s and Timberland wholesale sportswear businesses; and (iii) $36.2 million of costs incurred in the current year’s fourth quarter related to the acquisition of Warnaco.