Finish Line quarterly profit rises on strong sales

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The Finish Line Inc. on Thursday said its second-quarter profit rose 24 percent, helped by strong sales in stores open at least a year.

During the three months ended Aug. 27, the Indianapolis-based athletic apparel retailer's profit rose to $20.9 million, or 39 cents per share, from $16.8 million, or 31 cents per share in the same quarter a year ago. Analysts expected 38 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 10 percent, to $331.5 million. Analysts expected $321.9 million.

Revenue in stores open at least one year rose 11 percent. The figure is considered a key gauge of a retailer's financial health because it excludes revenue from stores that open or close during the year.

In September, the measure rose 9 percent.

Finish Line is seeking to expand through acquisitions. Earlier this month it bought an 18-store chain of specialty running shops for $8.5 million.

The stores operate in eight states under banners such as Greater Boston Running Co., Texas Running Co., Georgetown Running Co., Princeton Running Co., New York Running Co. and others.

"Our recent acquisition within specialty running represents the first step in our strategy to expand outside of our existing business," CEO Glenn Lyon said. "We believe the long-range opportunities for growth in specialty running are substantial."


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