Qurate Retail Q1 earnings lift despite sales dip
Qurate Retail Inc. announced on Friday revenues for the first quarter decreased 8% to $2.6 billion, on the back declines across all brands in the company's portfolio.
The Englewood, Colorado-based company said QxH fell 5%, primarily due to a 6% decrease in units shipped, reflecting fewer customers and weakened consumer sentiment as well as a decrease in shipping and handling revenue primarily at HSN, QVC international revenue dropped 12%, hurt by adverse currency exchange.
The company's Cornerstone revenue decreased 13%, reflecting softness in most categories as well as reduced average selling price, while Zulily revenue dropped 17%, due to lower unit volume and a reduction in shipping and handling revenue/
Despite the sales declines, the U.S. video commerce company said net income grew to $20 million, compared to $1 million in the prior-year period.
“In the first quarter, we saw meaningful improvement in revenue trends at our largest businesses, QVC US and QVC international, while performance remained soft at HSN, Cornerstone and Zulily. Our customer file continues to be pressured and while we have multiple efforts underway to re-activate customer groups, we expect the impact of these initiatives to take several quarters," said David Rawlinson, president and CEO of Qurate Retail.
"Against this backdrop, we are intensely focused on factors in our control. We are on track with Project Athens and have taken significant cost actions with more underway. We successfully managed towards higher average selling prices through price increases and an elevated merchandise strategy leveraging the improved freshness of our product assortment. In addition, we enhanced programming and improved the performance of our daily specials by returning the urgency of a 24-hour sale."
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