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Thursday, September 02, 2021 1:00 am

Vera Bradley reports strong 2nd quarter

SHERRY SLATER | The Journal Gazette

Vera Bradley Inc. on Wednesday reported second fiscal quarter earnings of $9.05 million, or 26 cents per diluted common share, a 25% increase from the $7.22 milllion, or 42 cents a share, reported for last year's second quarter.

An accounting adjustment related to the acquisition of Pura Vida increased the second-quarter 2020 earnings per share by 20 cents, officials disclosed. Vera Bradley Inc. includes two brands – Vera Bradley and Pura Vida, an online jewelry company.

The Fort Wayne-based maker of women's handbags, luggage and accessories follows a fiscal calendar. Its second quarter ended July 31 this year. In 2020, the period ended Aug. 1.

Consolidated revenue for the second quarter increased by almost 12% year over year, to $147 million.

CEO Rob Wallstrom said Vera Bradley “was essentially back to its pre-pandemic ... second-quarter revenue level” and Pura Vida's sales increased by almost 7% during the same period.

“Second-quarter Vera Bradley brand revenues continued to improve as customers responded to product innovation, stores were fully operational, and sales of travel-related products rebounded, despite (not repeating the) exceptionally strong mask sales from the prior year,” he said in a statement.

Two “major factors” negatively affected this year's second-quarter results, Wallstrom said.

The company, he said, “continued to experience supply chain challenges and significantly increased freight and tariff expenses.”

Also, the effectiveness of Pura Vida's Facebook and Instagram advertising was diminished by the Apple iOS 14.5 update, Wallstrom said.

“Our team is working diligently to quickly diversify a portion of our marketing resources to other platforms, ...” he added. “We expect Pura Vida revenues will continue to rebound in the second half of the year.”

Wallstrom continued his upbeat assessment.

“We realize we will continue to face certain headwinds and uncertainties for the balance of the year,” he said, “but also know that both of our lifestyle brands have significant long-term growth opportunities ahead, well beyond their core product categories.”

sslater@jg.net


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