SAN FRANCISCO–Net income for Williams-Sonoma skyrocketed by 625 percent in the fourth quarter, to $88.4 million.
The company accomplished this result through significant improvements in sales and gross margin, and by slimming down selling, general and administrative expenses. Net revenues, counting both retail sales and direct-to-customer revenues, rose 8.1 percent to $1.1 billion, and gross margin gained 770 basis points to finish at 41.4 percent in the quarter. SG&A was reduced by 3.1 percent.
The fourth quarter elevated Williams-Sonoma’s bottom line for the year as a whole by 158 percent to $77.4 million. Net revenues for the year declined by 7.7 percent to $3.1 billion.
Howard Lester, chairman and chief executive officer, said Williams-Sonoma’s fourth quarter was better than expected, and that the company will continue to benefit from the strategic and tactical initiatives that boosted the fourth quarter through 2010. These initiatives include gaining market share through innovative merchandising and emphasizing the “value” proposition, improving customer service, executing its Internet marketing program, driving efficiencies throughout the supply chain and aggressively managing its assets and real-estate portfolio.