Dickie Walker Marine reports higher sales

Dickie Walker Marine Inc., a designer and marketer of nautically inspired apparel, gifts and decorative items, reports higher fiscal year 2003 sales primarily due to higher sales of its West Marine private-label-branded products.

The opening of the first Dickie Walker retail store, in La Jolla, Calif., and the launching of the Dickie Walker wholesale line also contributed to the 55 percent increase in sales revenue during the 12 months ended September 30, to $4.5 million, compared with $2.9 million during the same period a year earlier.

However, the Nasdaq Stock Market-listed company lost $1.69 million during its fiscal 2003, compared with a net loss of $1.20 million incurred a year earlier.

“As we expect that the Dickie Walker brand will yield higher gross margins than our private label business, we anticipate an improvement in gross margins in 2004,” said Gerald Montiel, chairman and chief executive officer. “As we continue to invest in expanding and building the business, we currently do not anticipate making a profit in 2004. Although there can be no assurance, we do believe, however, that our quarterly operating results for fiscal 2004 will show marked improvement over the comparable quarters of fiscal 2003.”

Oceanside, Calif.-based Dickie Walker has renewed its strategic alliance with West Marine, the nation’s largest specialty retailer of boating supplies and appeal, through 2004 and Montiel said, “We look forward to assisting them in continuing to build their casual apparel business.”

The company also has signed lease for a second Dickie Walker store in Southern California, which will open next summer.

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