Two top Timberland execs to leave firm

The Timberland Company announced Thursday that two senior managers will be leaving the company and that it would be laying off 50 employees.

The firm also reported an 18 percent decline in fourth-quarter profits.

According to a company statement, Chief Financial Officer Brian McKeon will leave Timberland at the end of the first quarter of 2007 to become the finance chief for Iron Mountain Inc., a worldwide information storage and protection company. McKeon has served as Timberland’s CFO for seven years.

Ken Pucker, Timberland’s chief operating officer, will leave the company on March 31, following a 15-year tenure.

The 50 layoffs are not limited to the firm’s Stratham headquarters, according to a report on WMUR-TV, which said the employees affected include designers and sales representatives.

Separately, Timberland reported fourth-quarter net income of $38.3 million and diluted earnings per share of 61 cents, or 65 cents when excluding restructuring costs. Net income for 2006 declined by 18 percent from net income of $46.9 million reported for fourth quarter 2005.

Diluted earnings per share for fourth quarter 2005 were 71 cents, or 70 cents when adjusted.

Revenue for the fourth quarter grew by 5 percent to $488.2 million from $465.3 million reported for the same quarter 2005.

Analysts had projected earnings per share of 58 cents and revenues of $482.5 million for the quarter.

A decline in boots and kids’ sales were offset by a sales increase in new brands, including Timberland PRO series and Timberland apparel and accessories, the company said. – TRACIE STONE

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