Neiman profit nearly doubles on luxury sales spike

Fri Mar 2, 2012 11:38am EST

A man sleeps on a couch outside of a Neiman Marcus store at South Park mall in Charlotte, North Carolina November 25, 2011.  REUTERS/Chris Keane

A man sleeps on a couch outside of a Neiman Marcus store at South Park mall in Charlotte, North Carolina November 25, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Chris Keane

(Reuters) - Neiman Marcus Group Inc NMRCUS.UL reported a higher quarterly profit on Friday as high-end shoppers snapped up more of the luxury department store operator's expensive designer dresses, shoes and handbags during the holiday period.

Neiman and peers Saks Inc SKS.N and Nordstrom Inc (JWN.N) have reported strong sales gains in recent months.

Neiman, a privately held operator of a namesake chain of upscale department stores and outlets, and of Bergdorf Goodman, posted net income of $40.1 million for the fiscal second quarter ended January 28, nearly double the $21 million of a year earlier.

For the full year, EBITDA -- which measures earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and is the figure most closely watched by private equity companies looking to take a company public or sell it -- was $152.4 million, up 11.7 percent from the previous year.

Neiman also lowered its long term debt to $2.68 billion, from $2.88 billion a year earlier.

Neiman's revenue in the quarter rose to $1.28 billion from $1.17 billion a year earlier, helped by comparable sales gains of 9 percent at stores open for at least a year and online.

(Reporting By Phil Wahba in New York; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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