Shoe Carnival’s first-quarter profit slips-WEB ONLY

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Evansville-based Shoe
Carnival Inc. today reported flat same-store sales and declining profit in its
fiscal first quarter.

Profit in the period ended May 2 fell 15 percent, to $4.1 million, compared to
the same period a year earlier, the footwear retailer said. Still, the 33 cents
per share topped analyst predictions by 8 cents per share despite a volatile
retailing environment.


Same-store sales, which
measure revenue from locations open at least a year, declined 0.3 percent.


Overall revenue rose 3.2
percent, to $167.3 million.


“As we look forward, we
recognize that our targeted moderate income customer will continue to be
impacted by the economic downturn, and sales with the retail sector may
continue to experience downward pressure,” CEO Mark Lemond said. “Therefore, we
will continue to manage our business conservatively, maintaining tight control
over both our inventories and cost structure.”


Per-store inventories at the
end of the first quarter were 8.4 percent below last year. Gross profit margin
in the first three months was 27.9 percent compared with 29 percent in the same
quarter a year ago.


Shoe Carnival operates 313
stores in the Midwest, South and Southeast, and
expects to open 15 stores and close 10 in fiscal 2009.


The shares opened this
morning at $9.88, down from a 52-week high of $18.45.

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