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LITTLE SWITZERLAND REPORTS STRONG FISCAL 1992 SALES AND EARNINGS; ANNOUNCES PLANS TO CHANGE FISCAL YEAR

    LITTLE SWITZERLAND REPORTS STRONG FISCAL 1992 SALES AND EARNINGS;
                  ANNOUNCES PLANS TO CHANGE FISCAL YEAR
    ST. THOMAS, U.S.V.I., April 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Little Switzerland, Inc. (NASDAQ: LSVI), the Caribbean-based luxury products retailer, today reported that revenues for the fiscal year ended Feb. 29, 1992, increased to $55.6 million, up 3 percent from $53.8 million a year ago. Net income for the year rose 12 percent to $6.5 million, or $0.78 per share, compared with $5.8 million, or $0.70 per share, for the fiscal year ended Feb. 28, 1991.
    Little Switzerland's fourth quarter revenues were $19.7 million, an increase of 9 percent over the $18.1 million reported for the same three months a year ago.  Fourth quarter earnings of $3.7 million, or $0.44 per share, were even with the year-ago period.  However, fiscal 1991 fourth quarter earnings included a one-time pre-tax gain of $310,000 (the full year amount was $510,000) which the company received in settlement of a business interruption insurance claim related to Hurricane Hugo.  On a comparable basis, excluding the insurance proceeds from last year's results, fiscal 1992 fourth quarter and full-year earnings represented increases of 7 percent and 20 percent, respectively.
    Comparable store sales increased 2.1 percent for fiscal 1992, and 5.8 percent for the fourth quarter.  Gross profit as a percentage of sales was 46.7 percent for the year ended Feb. 28, 1992, up from 45.7 percent the year ago.
    Separately, the company announced that it plans to change its fiscal year-end to May 31.  The current fiscal year-end is Feb. 28 or 29.  The change will take effect with the fiscal year beginning June 1, 1992. The three months beginning March 1, 1992, and ending May 31, 1992, will be reported as an interim period.
    Commenting on the company's fiscal 1992 results, Walter Fischer, president and chief executive officer, said, "Several positive factors contributed to Little Switzerland's improved performance:  comparable store sales were up for the year and the fourth quarter; initial results from our new store in St. Kitts and from our new crystal and china Gift Market in St. Thomas have been favorable; and our flagship store in Phillipsburg, St. Maarten was expanded to accommodate a new fragrance and accessory department."
    Fischer indicated that, in addition to the contribution from increased sales, the earnings increase for the year was attributable primarily to margin improvement generated by better management of Little Switzerland's merchandise mix and by greater operating efficiencies.
    Little Switzerland, Inc. is a specialty retailer of brand name watches, jewelry, crystal, china and fragrances.  The company operates 19 stores on eight Caribbean islands.  Little Switzerland's primary market consists of vacationing tourists attracted by free-port pricing, duty-free allowances and the wide assortment of high quality merchandise.
                            LITTLE SWITZERLAND, INC.
                        Consolidated Statements of Income
                        (In thousands, except per share)
                               Three months                 Year
    Periods ended         2/29/92       2/28/91     2/29/92      2/28/91
    Net sales            $19,717       $18,085      $55,571      $53,837
    Cost of sales         10,134         9,082       29,623       29,213
    Gross profit           9,583         9,003       25,948       24,624
    SG&A expenses          5,107         4,557       17,674       16,835
    Income from opers.(A)  4,476         4,446        8,274        7,789
    Interest expense-net      20            85          208          264
    Inc. bef. inc. taxes(A)4,456         4,361        8,066        7,525
    Provision for inc. taxes 774           682        1,532        1,682
    Net income (A)         3,682         3,679        6,534        5,843
    Earnings per com. share  .44           .44          .78          .70
    Weighted average
     shares outstanding    8,400         8,400        8,400        8,400
    (A) -- Amounts for the three-month and 12-month periods ended Feb. 28, 1991, reflect approximately $310,000 and $510,000 (before taxes), respectively, in proceeds from interruption of business insurance.
    -0-                             4/8/92
    /CONTACT:  Walter Fischer, president of Little Switzerland, 809-776-2010; or Edward Nebb or Amy Ludwig of Morgen-Walke Associates, 212-986-5900, for Little Switzerland/
    (LSVI) CO:  Little Switzerland, Inc. ST: IN:  REA SU:  ERN PS-AH -- NY008 -- 6072 04/08/92 08:38 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 8, 1992
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