When Madden was sentenced and locked up last year, the questions swirling about his company's future since he was first charged back in 2000 intensified. Well, a look at the company's fourth-quarter and year-end results indicates that Steve Madden is jogging along quite fine without, ahem, Steve Madden.
Sales for the quarter ended Dec. 31 jumped 30% to $78.4 million. For the year, the retailer sold enough sky-high platform shoes to generate $326.1 million in revenue, an increase of 34%. Same-store sales in the 80 company-owned retail stores grew by 6%.
Quarterly earnings bounced up 55% to $4.2 million from last year's $2.7 million (excluding a one-time charge in 2001's Q4 that created a loss of $1.3 million). Per share, Steve Madden netted $0.31 for the quarter. For the year, it earned $19.8 million, or $1.45 a share.
The company hasn't been sitting around, waiting for its founder to deal with his legal problems, either. Its team of talented, trend-spotting designers keeps hitting the mark again and again. The recently introduced line "Steven" is more adult, less platform-y than the flagship Steve Madden line. And the new Manolo Blahnik-inspired Hijoo boot, which lets wearers feel like J.Lo without paying J.Lo prices, will likely be a blockbuster this spring.
There's little doubt that when Steve Madden gets out of Club Fed, he'll want to jump back into creating and selling the popular shoes that bear his name. But if things keep going the way they have, the company he built may not need him back.