Designing and marketing a global portfolio of retail-based brands, Liz Claiborne reports a loss per share from continuing operations of ($0.45) and adjusted loss per share of ($0.18) for the fourth quarter and full year 2009. Net sales for the fourth quarter were $779 million, a decrease of $132 million, or 14.5 per cent, from the comparable 2008 period.

For 2009, Liz Claiborne recorded an operating loss of ($335) million compared to an operating loss of ($734) million in 2008. Adjusted operating loss for the full year 2009 was ($136) million compared to adjusted operating income of $130 million in 2008. The adjusted results exclude the impact of expenses incurred in connection with the Company’s streamlining initiatives and brand-exiting activities and non-cash goodwill and other intangible asset impairment charges.

On the losses William L. McComb, Chief Executive Officer of Liz Claiborne commented: “Our financial results in the fourth quarter reflect progress in our domestic-based direct brands, evidenced by the improvement in comparable store sales trends and gross margins at Kate Spade, Juicy Couture and Lucky Brand Jeans — resulting in a profitable quarter for this business segment. In contrast, the Mexx business in Europe posted a meaningful loss during the quarter. We are pleased that a new management team has hit the ground running at Mexx, and is quickly addressing core product and other operational issues that are causing this loss.”

He continued: “Looking forward, 2010 is all about operational excellence. At Juicy, Lucky and Kate, we are committed to improving productivity to maximize the potential of these great brands, with a focus on retail execution, gross margin improvement and increasing sales per square foot. In our Partnered Brands segment, we are focused on executing smooth transitions to the new licensing models with JC Penney for our Liz Claiborne and Claiborne branded products and QVC for our LCNY branded products. Although operating results will remain challenging at Mexx Europe through most of 2010, we remain optimistic that CEO Thomas Grote and his new management team will successfully execute the turnaround strategy that he will discuss on today’s conference call.”

Liz Claiborne Inc.’s brands including Kate Spade, Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand and Mexx. The Company also has a group of department store-based brands with consumer franchises including the Monet family of brands, Kensie, Kensiegirl, Mac & Jac, and the licensed Dkny Jeans and Dkny Active Group.

Image: Juicy Couture