1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLWS), the world’s leading florist and gift shop, today reported revenue growth from continuing operations of 2.9 percent to $123.0 million for its fiscal 2014 first quarter (ended September 29, 2013), compared with revenues from continuing operations of $119.6 million in the prior year period. The Company said the revenue growth for the quarter – the Company’s smallest due to the lack of gifting holidays during the summer months – was driven by its Gourmet Food and Gift Baskets division, which increased revenues 15.1 percent to $31.2 million and its BloomNet wire service business which increased revenues 2.9 percent to $20.3 million during the period. This growth more than offset slightly lower revenues in the Company’s Consumer Floral segment during the quarter, which declined 1.7 percent to $71.6 million.
Gross profit margin from continuing operations for the quarter increased 40 basis points to 41.7 percent, compared with 41.3 percent in the prior year period. This was driven by increases of 340 and 20 basis points in the Company’s BloomNet and Consumer Floral segments, respectively.
This more than offset a decline of 130 basis points in its Gourmet Food and Gift Baskets segment which reflected increased wholesale gift basket shipments during the quarter. Operating expense ratio during the quarter was 46.6 percent compared with 45.7 percent in the prior year period reflecting investments made for the upcoming holiday season. The combination of these factors resulted in an EBITDA loss from continuing operations (excluding stock-based compensation expense) of $1.3 million, compared with an EBITDA loss of $0.8 million in the prior year period. Net loss from continuing operations was essentially unchanged from the prior year period at a loss of $4.5 million or $0.07 per share.
Jim McCann, CEO of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, said, “The revenue growth we achieved in our first quarter reflected a number of factors that we believe bode well for the current fiscal second quarter, which includes the key holiday season, and our full fiscal year. In particular, we saw a continuation of the rebound in our mass market gift baskets business with both increased order volumes and an expanding customer base.
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