Williams-Sonoma Net Rises 8.1 Percent in Q4, 18 Percent for Year

       

       

SAN FRANCISCO-Williams-Sonoma brought its fiscal year to an upbeat conclusion with an 8.1 percent pickup in fourth-quarter net income, to $122.6 million. Net income for the entire fiscal year, ending on Jan. 29, was $236.9 million, up 18 percent over the prior fiscal year.

Laura Alber, the retailer’s president and CEO, described fiscal 2011 as “a year of milestones.” Alber said Williams-Sonoma “delivered record earnings and profitability in a promotional environment, never losing sight of our mission to enhance our customers’ lives at home.”

Fourth-quarter net revenues rose 6.1 percent to $1.3 billion, fueled by a gain of 14 percent in net revenues from its direct-to-customer segment driven by strong gains at Pottery Barn, West Elm and e-commerce. For the fiscal year, net revenues rose 6.2 percent to $3.7 billion.

In the quarter, gross margin fell 100 basis points to 41.3 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses increased 1.4 percent but shed 120 basis points as a percentage of sales to 25.7 percent.

Williams-Sonoma also said the company’s chief operating and chief financial officer, Sharon McCollam, has retired. McCollam will also retire from the company’s board of directors on March 16. Julie Whalen, senior vice president, corporate controller and treasurer, will serve as acting chief financial officer.