Weak winter hurts Sport Chalet earnings

Sport Chalet blamed unseasonably warm and dry winter weather for a 2 percent decline in same store sales and a widening quarterly loss.
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Sport Chalet (Nasdaq:SPCHA) blamed unseasonably warm and dry winter weather for a 2 percent decline in same store sales and a widening quarterly loss.

The outdoor and fitness retailer said sales of winter-related merchandise fell 21.8 percent for its fiscal 2012 third quarter, ended Jan. 1. The poor results were partially offset by a 6.6 percent sales increase in non-winter categories, including fitness equipment. Sport Chalet also benefited from a 14.5 percent increase in online sales.

In total, Sport Chalet reported a quarterly net loss of $1 million, or a loss of 7 cents per diluted share, compared to a loss of $900,000, or a loss of 6 cents per diluted share a year ago. Quarterly revenue came in at $97.2 million, an increase of 1.5 percent, but primarily due to a $5.2 million positive impact due to a fiscal calendar shift that added the week following Christmas.

“We are working diligently to minimize the negative effects of the weather, while capitalizing on the merchandise categories that respond well to warm and dry conditions," Sport Chalet CEO Craig Levra said in a statement.



Looking ahead, company officials said Sport Chalet's next quarter could continue to see negative effects from “winter related merchandise sold at lower margins,” compared to a year ago.

Sport Chalet has 54 stores in California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah.

--Compiled by David Clucas

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