Santa Monica-based Wickes Cos., which recently emerged from proceedings under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, on Wednesday reported increased income from continuing operations and higher sales for the year and fourth quarter ended Jan. 26.
For the 12 months, income from continuing operations, including an after-tax gain of about $5.7 million from the sale of securities, rose to $9.7 million from $9.5 million. The diversified retailer's sales for the year were $3.03 billion, up from $2.87 billion the year before.
For the fourth quarter, income from continuing operations was $3.5 million on sales of $739.5 million, compared to a loss from continuing operations of $741,000 on sales of $730 million in the comparable quarter a year ago.
Boosted by $279.5 million in extraordinary credits, net income for the year increased to $296.5 million from $24.8 million in the prior year. Net income included a $16.2-million extraordinary gain from an operating-loss carry-forward and a $280.7-million gain from the settlement of liabilities under Wickes' reorganization plan.
Wickes was able to record the gain, a company spokesman said, because the market value of the debt securities, common stock and stock purchase warrants issued to settle part of the debt was less than the carrying value. Wickes also made cash payments of about $600 million in settling its $1.3-billion debt. Wickes has $500 million in operating-loss carry-forwards remaining, a spokesman said.
Wickes Chief Executive Sanford C. Sigoloff said: "Significant gains were realized in our wholesale and retail lumber and building-supplies operations, even though lower commodity prices, principally lumber, resulted in reduced levels of gross profit per unit sold."