Williams-Sonoma earnings down 27 percent

Williams-Sonoma saw net revenue increase 4.1 percent in the second quarter to $859.4 million from $825.5 million in last year’s second quarter.

Second-quarter earnings fell 27 percent after the company made major price reductions on products at Pottery Barn stores. Earnings were $26 million in the second quarter, compared with $35.6 million last year.

Pottery Barn saw comparable-store sales rise 1.8 percent in the second quarter. The high-end home decor chain had sputtered in recent quarters, including in last year’s second quarter when comparable-store sales fell 0.2 percent.

"What was particularly encouraging about these results was the strong performance of our emerging brands and the improving trend we saw in Pottery Barn, which we believe was driven by early successes in the rollout of our Pottery Barn revitalization initiatives," said Howard Lester, chairman and CEO of Williams-Sonoma. Lester said the second-quarter results were "better than expected."

In its other retail concepts, comp-store sales rose 1.1 percent at kitchen products retailer Williams-Sonoma and 9 percent at the company’s outlet stores. Comp-store sales fell 3.8 percent at Pottery Barn Kids stores.

Williams-Sonoma’s strong catalog and e-commerce sectors showed further growth, with a 2.8 percent increase in direct-to-customer net revenue, to $372.4 million from $362.2 million last year. Internet revenue increased 11.1 percent to $237.4 million compared with $213.8 million last year.

Williams-Sonoma operates 580 stores under the banners Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Pottery Barn Kids, PBteen, West Elm and Williams-Sonoma Home. The company also has seven mail order catalogs and six e-commerce Web sites.

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