SAN FRANCISCO–A strong gain in direct-to-customer revenues and tight expense controls combined to propel Williams-Sonoma’s fourth-quarter net income by 28 percent, to $113.4 million.
Fueled by a 17 percent increase in direct-to-customer revenues, total net revenues in the quarter, which ended on Jan. 30, were $1.2 billion, up 9.7 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses rose 3.7 percent in dollars but shed 160 basis points as a percentage of total net revenues. Also, gross margin increased 90 basis points to 42.3 percent.
Laura Alber, Williams-Sonoma’s president and chief executive officer, said the fourth quarter was driven by company initiatives in merchandising, marketing, customer acquisition, customer service and supply-chain efficiencies. These efforts helped to both improve the company’s profitability and to increase the market share for its brands—Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids—Alber said.
Williams-Sonoma’s fourth quarter brought to a close a fiscal year in which the retailer set a new record in net earnings at $200.2 million, up 159 percent over the prior fiscal year. Total net revenues for the fiscal year gained 13 percent to $3.5 billion.