The reversal reflected a net-sales gain of 3.4 percent, to $227.7 million; a whopping 1,250 basis-point increase in gross margin, to 45.2 percent; and the absence of a $89.8 million charge from last year’s fourth quarter for goodwill impairment. The sales increase included a 9.4 percent pickup in same-store sales. Selling, general and administrative expenses were also held relatively in check, increasing by just 1.4 percent in the quarter.
Thanks to the fourth-quarter performance, Brookstone narrowed its net loss for the whole fiscal year to $8.3 million from $148.3 million in the prior fiscal year. Net sales for the fiscal year fell 13.4 percent to $430.3 million, including a comparable-store sales decline of 7.6 percent.