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Coach Says Profit Up 53 Percent

January 21, 2004

NEW YORK (AP) _ Coach Inc. said Wednesday its profit leaped 53 percent in the latest quarter, partly due to a significant jump in sales of its luxury handbags and accessories.

The New York-based company reported net income of $95.4 million, or 50 cents a share, for the fiscal 2004 second quarter ended Dec. 27, compared with the previous year’s $62.4 million, or 34 cents a share.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had forecast, on average, earnings of 49 cents per share.

Net sales climbed 33 percent to $411.5 million from $308.5 million.

Direct-to-consumer sales, mainly sales at U.S. Coach stores, increased 24 percent to $237.1 million from the prior year’s $191.5 million.

Comparable store sales, which generally refers to stores open at least a year, rose 13.7 percent. Sales at retail stores were up 16.4 percent, while factory store sales rose 9.4 percent.

Indirect sales jumped 49 percent to $174.4 million from $117.1 million. All indirect businesses _ including Coach Japan, business-to-business, international wholesale and U.S. department stores _ contributed to the strong rise.

Coach said it now expects to post fiscal 2004 earnings of at least $1.20 a share on sales of more than $1.26 billion, which would be an increase of at least 32 percent from the previous year.

The forecasted earnings are also above the $1.15 a share projected by First Call.

Shares of Coach were at $35.71 in midday trading Wednesday, down 24 cents, or 0.7 percent, on the New York Stock Exchange.

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