1-800-Flowers sees uneven revenue growth

Jim McCann, the chief executive of 1-800-Flowers.com, at

Jim McCann, the chief executive of 1-800-Flowers.com, at his offices in Carle Place. (Credit: Danielle Finkelstein)

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Revenues at 1-800-Flowers.com, based in Carle Place, rose last quarter despite the hurdles posed by superstorm Sandy and Congress, the company said Thursday.

Sales at the Carle Place-based florist and gift-basket retailer grew 5.5 percent to $253 million in the quarter ended in December, from $239.8 million a year earlier. The company's gourmet food and gift basket business performed well, as sales rose 8.9 percent to $142.7 million.

Net income fell 3.8 percent in the quarter to $16 million, or 25 cents per share, from about $16.6 million, or 26 cents per share, in the prior year. Shares of 1-800-Flowers.com rose 8.06 percent Thursday, closing at $4.02.

"Overall the quarter was characterized by uneven revenue growth," William E. Shea, chief financial officer, said in a conference call. "Sales, which were up a strong 11 percent in October, were flat in the month of November coinciding with the impact of superstorm Sandy and then picked back up again in December." Executives estimated the storm's disruption cost several million dollars.

In December, the company also faced the challenge of weakening consumer confidence sparked by worries over the "fiscal cliff" -- the combination of big federal tax hikes and deep federal spending cuts, which Congress temporarily averted.

If not for these "headwinds," Shea said, growth could have been stronger.

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