Brookstone optimistic despite flat sales

A late improvement in sales has officials of specialty lifestyle retailer Brookstone looking toward the second quarter with optimism despite flat first-quarter numbers.

Merrimack-based Brookstone Inc. officials reported net sales of $76.7 million for the first 13-week quarter of 2006. This number reflects a decrease of 14.7 percent from the same period in 2005.

“The results for the quarter as a whole were below our expectations,” said Lou Mancini, Brookstone CEO. “However, our results began to improve in March and have continued to improve into April. We have several important launches planned for the second quarter.”

The release of a new and exclusive product line of healthy lifestyle products is expected to improve sales numbers for the second quarter, Mancini said.

The company ended the first quarter of 2006 with approximately $38 million in cash and no cash borrowings under its asset-backed lending agreement, according to a statement released by Brookstone officials.

First-quarter 2006 results come six months after Brookstone was acquired through a merger transaction with Brookstone Acquisition Corp., a Delaware corporation formed by OSIM International Ltd. and affiliates of J.W. Childs Equity partners III L.P. and Temasek Capital Limited.

Brookstone became a privately held, wholly owned subsidiary of OSIM Brookstone Holdings L.P. as a result of the transaction. – TRACIE STONE

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