Vice President, Investor Relations
Foot Locker, Inc.
· Company’s Competitive Strengths and Growth Opportunities Articulated
· Third Quarter and Full Year EPS Expected to Meet Previous Company Estimate
NEW YORK, NY, September 5, 2002 – Mathew D. Serra, President and CEO of Foot Locker, Inc. (NYSE: Z), the New York-based specialty athletic retailer, today provided attendees at the Wells Fargo Conference with an overview of the Company’s investment characteristics, including its value dynamics and growth opportunities. Mr. Serra also confirmed that the Company expects to meet its previously stated third quarter and full year earnings estimates.
The Company expects its total sales for the third fiscal quarter to increase in the middle-single digit range, reflecting a low single-digit comparable-store sales improvement, new store openings and favorable foreign currency translation rates. This forecast is based on the expectation of improved sales increases in September and October, from a soft sales trend in August, as comparisons to last year become far easier.
“We currently expect our third quarter earnings to be within our previously stated $0.28 to $0.30 per share range,” continued Mr. Serra. “For the full year of 2002, we continue to expect to earn $1.12-to-$1.14 per share, representing a gain of between 14% to 16% over 2001. Additionally, our cash flow remains strong and we expect to reduce our year-end debt, net of cash, by approximately $130 million from the prior year level.”
Mr. Serra articulated Foot Locker, Inc.’s value dynamics, including its competitive strengths, solid balance sheet, strong cash flow and improving credit ratings. The Company’s competitive strengths include its market leadership position, global diversification, multiple channels of distribution, product sourcing capabilities and management depth.
Mr. Serra stated that "Foot Locker Inc.’s profitable growth strategies are designed around its multi-dimensional real estate initiatives. These initiatives are expected to result in improved productivity of existing stores, and accelerated top-line sales growth resulting from its 1,000 new store-opening program." The Company recently increased to 170 the number of highly-profitable new stores that it plans to open during 2002, and expects this program to be almost 30 percent completed by the end of 2002. The Company also plans to continue to expand its high-growth and profitable Internet and catalog direct-to-customer business.
September 5, 2002
Foot Locker, Inc. is primarily a mall-based athletic specialty retailer that operates approximately 3,600 athletic retail stores in 14 countries in North America, Europe and Australia. Through its specialty retail stores, including Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker and Champs Sports, as well as its direct-to-customer channel Footlocker.com/Eastbay, the Company is the leading provider of athletic footwear and apparel.