|Build-a-Bear Workshop, Inc. Reports Fiscal 2010 First Quarter Results|
ST. LOUIS, Apr 29, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. (NYSE: BBW), an interactive entertainment retailer, today reported results for the 2010 first quarter. First quarter 2010 benefited from the timing shift of the Easter holiday to the first quarter this year from the second quarter of fiscal 2009.
"We are pleased with our first quarter performance, which included positive North American comparable store sales, a continuation of positive growth in Europe, and a significant improvement in consolidated earnings, as compared to the first quarter last year," stated Build-A-Bear Workshop Chairman and Chief Executive Bear Maxine Clark. "Our results reflect the initial implementation of our key strategies to improve sales productivity and profitability with compelling offerings and improved integration of product, marketing and store operations. During the quarter, we capitalized on the increase in mall traffic coinciding with the shift in Easter and increased the average transaction value at our stores. As a result, we experienced a steady improvement in comparable store sales as the quarter progressed.
While the shift of Easter will impact our April results, we expect to build upon the momentum of our successful strategies in the second quarter by telling bigger stories with our new product introductions and promotions," Ms. Clark continued. "Although we see early signs of improving consumer sentiment, we will continue our conservative stance toward expense and balance sheet management and remain confident that we have the right strategies in place to drive improvement in sales productivity and profitability in 2010. Also in the quarter, our Board extended our $50 million share repurchase program through March 2011."
Fiscal 2010 First-Quarter (13 weeks ended April 3, 2010):
Build-A-Bear Workshop ended the 2010 first quarter with 345 company-owned stores - 291 in North America and 54 in Europe. The Company opened no new stores in either the 2010 or 2009 first quarter.
The Company ended the 2010 first quarter with a strong balance sheet. As of April 3, 2010, cash and cash equivalents totaled $53.2 million, half of which was domiciled outside the U.S., as compared to $33.9 million in cash and cash equivalents at April 4, 2009. Inventory at quarter-end was $47.1 million, representing an 11.3% increase on a per square foot basis, which includes late first-quarter inventory receipts resulting from the introduction of Zhu Zhu pets, as compared to the prior-year period.
During the first quarter, the company repurchased 210,133 shares of its common stock at a total cost of $1.4 million. At quarter end, the Company had $29.6 million of availability under the current stock repurchase program, which was extended through March 31, 2011.
Separately, the Company announced that it will host its Annual Meeting of Stockholders on Thursday, May 13, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. local time (CDT) at the Company's Bearquarters, 1954 Innerbelt Business Center Drive, St. Louis, Missouri.
Today's Conference Call Webcast
Build-A-Bear Workshop will host a live Internet webcast of its quarterly investor conference call at 9 a.m. EST today. The audio broadcast may be accessed at our investor relations Web site, http://IR.buildabear.com. The call is expected to conclude by 10 a.m.
A replay of the conference call webcast will be available in the investor relations website for one year. A telephone replay will be available beginning at approximately noon EST today until midnight EST on May 13, 2010. The telephone replay is available by calling (617) 801-6888. The access code is 72947197.
About Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.
Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. is the only global company that offers an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. The company currently operates more than 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide, including company-owned stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and France, and franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and the Middle East. Founded in St. Louis in 1997, Build-A-Bear Workshop is the leader in interactive retail. Brands include make-your-own Major League Baseball(R) mascot in-stadium locations, and Build-A-Dino(R) stores. Build-A-Bear Workshop extends its in-store interactive experience online with its award winning virtual world Web site at www.buildabearville.com. Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) posted total revenue of $394.4 million in fiscal 2009. For more information, call 888.560.BEAR (2327) or visit the company's award-winning Web site at www.buildabear.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" (within the meaning of the federal securities laws) which represent Build-A-Bear Workshop expectations or beliefs with respect to future events. Our actual results may differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, those detailed under the caption "Risk Factors" in our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 2, 2010, as filed with the SEC, and the following: general economic conditions may continue to deteriorate, which could lead to disproportionately reduced consumer demand for our products, which represent relatively discretionary spending; customer traffic may continue to decrease in the shopping malls where we are located, on which we depend to attract guests to our stores; we may be unable to generate interest in and demand for our interactive retail experience, or to identify and respond to consumer preferences in a timely fashion; our marketing and on-line initiatives may not be effective in generating sufficient levels of brand awareness and guest traffic; we may be unable to generate comparable store sales growth; we may be unable to renew or replace our store leases, or enter into leases for new stores on favorable terms or in favorable locations, or may violate the terms of our current leases; we may be unable to effectively manage the operations and growth of our company-owned stores; we may be unable to effectively manage our international franchises or laws relating to those franchises may change; the availability and costs of our products could be adversely affected by risks associated with international manufacturing and trade, including foreign currency fluctuation; we are susceptible to disruption in our inventory flow due to our reliance on a few vendors; high petroleum products prices could increase our inventory transportation costs and adversely affect our profitability; we may be unable to operate our European company-owned stores profitably; fluctuations in our quarterly results of operations could cause the price of our common stock to substantially decline; we may be unable to repurchase shares at all or at the times or in the amounts we currently anticipate or the results of the share repurchase program may not be as beneficial as we currently anticipate; we may improperly obtain or be unable to protect information from our guests in violation of privacy or security laws or expectations; we may suffer negative publicity or be sued due to violations of labor laws or unethical practices by manufacturers of our merchandise; we may suffer negative publicity or negative sales if the non-proprietary toy products we sell in our stores do not meet our quality or sales expectations; our products could become subject to recalls or product liability claims that could adversely impact our financial performance and harm our reputation among consumers; we may lose key personnel, be unable to hire qualified additional personnel, or experience turnover of our management team; we may be unable operate our company-owned distribution center efficiently or our third-party distribution center providers may perform poorly; our market share could be adversely affected by a significant, or increased, number of competitors; we may fail to renew, register or otherwise protect our trademarks or other intellectual property; we may have disputes with, or be sued by, third parties for infringement or misappropriation of their proprietary rights; poor global economic conditions could have a material adverse effect on our liquidity and capital resources; and we may be unable to recover amounts due to us from our affiliate, Ridemakerz LLC. These risks, uncertainties and other factors may adversely affect our business, growth, financial condition or profitability, or subject us to potential liability, and cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by our forward-looking statements. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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(Financial Tables Follow)
SOURCE: Build-a-Bear Workshop, Inc.