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Investor Alert

June 18, 2020, 7:03 a.m. EDT

Designer Brands Q1 loss is wider than expected

By Matt Grossman

Designer Brands Inc. Thursday reported a loss in the first fiscal quarter that was deeper than analysts had forecast, as coronavirus-related store closures dragged sales more than 40% lower than a year earlier.

The Columbus, Ohio-based footwear and accessories company recorded a loss of $215.9 million, or $3 a share, compared with a profit of $31.2 million, or 40 cents a share, for the same period a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, Designer Brands' loss was $1.83 a share, the company said. Analysts were expecting an adjusted loss of 60 cents a share, according to FactSet.

The company's sales were $482.8 million in the quarter, down from $873.3 million a year earlier. Analysts had forecast sales of $505 million. Comparable sales declined 42.3% year over year, Designer Brands said.

About 90% of the company's stores have reopened following temporary closures during the pandemic, Designer Brands said. The company, which operates DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse stores, said that it ended the quarter with cash and investments of $250.9 million. Debt was $393 million, up from $235 million a year earlier, reflecting borrowing from the company's senior revolving credit agreement.

The company declined to provide guidance for the rest of the fiscal year, citing uncertainty from the pandemic.

Write to Matt Grossman at matt.grossman@wsj.com

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