Williams-Sonoma Net Jumps 19 Percent in Third Quarter



SAN FRANCISCO–In what President and CEO Laura Alber called “another strong quarter for the company,” Williams-Sonoma posted a 19 percent increase in third-quarter net income, to $43.4 million.

Sales increases, particularly in the company’s direct-to-consumer segment, helped firm the bottom line in the quarter, which ended on Oct. 30. Net sales were up 6.3 percent to $867.2 million, including a 9.9 percent gain in direct-to-consumer sales which was driven in a major way by a 27 percent rise in sales at Williams-Sonoma’s West Elm segment. At the retail end, sales rose 3.6 percent, including a same-store sales increase of 6.3 percent.

The revenue increase along with reduced occupancy expenses allowed Williams-Sonoma to post a 10 basis-point pickup in gross margin, to 38.3 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses were up 3.2 percent in dollars but down 90 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 30.4 percent.

Alber said the signs for the fourth quarter are good for Williams-Sonoma. Its initiatives in assortments, value proposition and its multichannel shopping experience “will allow us to continue to deliver leading results in the housewares and home furnishings categories,” she said.