Perry Ellis reports third quarter loss; issues letter to shareholders

Doral-based Perry Ellis International, the publicly traded apparel company facing pressure from disgruntled activist investors, on Thursday reported a $437,000 third quarter net loss on $211.4 million of revenue. That compares to a loss of $3.0 million on $222.1 million of revenue for the same period of 2013.

Perry Ellis Chairman and Chief Executuve George Feldenkreis and director Joseph P. Lacher sent a letter to shareholders, emphasizing the company’s commitment to growth and to implementing its profitability improvement plan. Among those initiatives: exiting underperforming, low growth brands and businesses; expanding high gross margin direct-to-consumer channels; optimizing its strength in menswear by leveraging wholesale, retail and licensing; driving international and licensing growth through both direct investment in North America and Europe, as well as through strategic partnerships with licensees and other partners; and generating cost savings through process enhancements, inventory management and sourcing.

In the third quarter, the company said it expanded its gross margins, reduced inventory, exited 29 low-margin brands, and generated an incremental $4.0 million in cost savings.

Perry Ellis said its board is also reviewing all related party transactions previously undertaken by the company, and, amid concerns from shareholders, will phase out many of such business arrangements — some of which predate it going public.

Perry Ellis’ portfolio of brands includes Jantzen, Laundry by Shelli Segal, C & C California and Original Penguin.