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West Marine reports 1Q results

West Marine today reported an increase in net revenues and comparable store sales for the first quarter of 2012.

Net revenues for the quarter were $121.5 million, up 6.7 percent from $113.8 million for the same period in 2011. Revenues in the stores segment were $108.1 million, up $7.9 million, or 7.9 percent, compared with the same period last year. Comparable-store sales grew by 4.3 percent, versus the same period last year.

“[This year] is off to a strong start for West Marine and we are encouraged by these results. The success of our growth strategies, combined with a relatively warm and dry spring, puts us in a great position as we enter our key boating season,” CEO Geoff Eisenberg said in a statement. “Our outstanding teams of associates continued to manage the business effectively and deliver improved bottom-line results.”

West Marine said it had higher sales in all core categories during the first quarter, especially maintenance-related products, which it believes was related to the dry, warm weather and early spring experienced across most areas of the country.

Revenues from stores opened or expanded in 2011 and the first three months of 2012 contributed $13.8 million to the stores segment. The impact of stores closed during those periods effectively reduced revenues by $9.2 million. The majority of the closings were a result of the company’s ongoing real estate optimization strategy to evolve into having fewer, larger stores.

West Marine’s Port Supply segment revenues, representing sales to wholesale customers through its distribution centers, for the first quarter of 2012 were $6.3 million, a decrease of $200,000, or 3.6 percent, compared with the same period last year. Net revenues in its direct-to-customer segment for the quarter were $7.1 million, a decrease of $100,000, or 0.7 percent, compared with the same period last year.

Gross profit for the first quarter was $29.5 million, an increase of $4.8 million, compared with 2011.

The pretax loss for the 13-week period that ended March 31 was $10.6 million, a $1.7 million, or 13.5 percent, improvement from a pretax loss of $12.3 million last year. The company reported a net loss of $6.25 million, or 27 cents a share, compared with a loss of $12.35 million, or 55 cents a share, for the quarter a year earlier.

West Marine’s stock opened Thursday at $11.85 a share. Its 52-week high and low are $13.49 and $6.97.

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