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Finish Line sees profit slip on Macy's costs

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The Finish Line Inc.’s fiscal first-quarter earnings fell 59 percent due to increased expenses related to its launch of new locations in Macy’s department stores, the company announced Friday, one day after making a change among its longtime leadership.

Steve Schneider, president and chief operating officer of the Indianapolis-based athletic shoe and apparel retailer, will move to the role of executive vice president of strategic initiatives, effective July 1.

Schneider, 56, has spent 35 years in the specialty retailing business, including 24 years at The Finish Line. He has been chief operating officer since 2001 and president since 2008. He joined the company in 1989 after working for Indianapolis-based Paul Harris Stores Inc. for nearly five years.

Schneider said the new position will enable him to spend more time with his family and work more closely with community and philanthropic groups. Schneider's replacement as president and COO has yet to be named.

Meanwhile, for the quarter ended June 1, The Finish Line reported profit of $5.1 million, or 10 cents per share, down from $12.3 million, or 24 cents, a year earlier.

Excluding costs from the launch of its Macy’s business, per-share earnings for the quarter were 20 cents, beating analyst estimates of 16 cents per share.

The Finish Line announced in September that it had agreed to become the exclusive athletic footwear partner of the national department store chain and would open shops in more than 450 Macy’s stores.

Despite the drop in profit, the company reported strong sales figures.

Quarterly revenue increased 10 percent, to $351.1 million, and same-store sales were up 2.4 percent.

“We are pleased with the start to fiscal 2014 as improving trends in our Finish Line running business combined with continued strength in basketball and disciplined expense management drove our results,” Finish Line CEO Glenn Lyon said in a prepared statement.

The Finish Line added more basketball gear in its stores after demand for running products began to slow last fall.

Company shares rose 10 cents in pre-market trading Friday morning, to $21.20 each.
 

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