Namesake brand gives lift to Kate Spade 1Q revenue

NEW YORK (AP) -- Kate Spade's revenue surged in the first quarter on the strength of its namesake brand even as the retailer's loss from continuing operations widened. Its shares climbed in afternoon trading.

CEO Craig Leavitt said in a statement that the promotional environment was more competitive than a year earlier but that the retailer remained focused on building its full-price business.

The clothing, handbag and accessories company previously known as Fifth & Pacific Companies Inc. earned $46.2 million, or 37 cents per share, for the three months ended April 5. A year ago it lost $52.2 million, or 44 cents per share.

Loss from continuing operations totaled $54.7 million, or 44 cents per share. That compares with the prior-year period's loss of $39.6 million, or 33 cents per share.

Loss from continuing operations includes the continuing operations of Juicy Couture and excludes denim line Lucky Brand.

Stripping out one-time items, Kate Spade & Co. lost 6 cents per share. Analysts polled by FactSet were calling for a smaller loss of 4 cents per share.

Revenue climbed 34 percent to $328.1 million from $245.7 million as sales in the Kate Spade segment rose 54 percent.

Revenue for the latest quarter includes continuing operations of Juicy Couture and excludes Lucky Brand.

Wall Street predicted $201.2 million in revenue.

Kate Spade was renamed in February. Fifth & Pacific was once known as Liz Claiborne Inc. It's been shedding businesses so it can focus on its Kate Spade brand. Last year the company announced deals to sell Juicy Couture and Lucky Brand.

Shares of Kate Spade gained $3.21, or 9.3 percent, to $37.86 in afternoon trading on Thursday. The stock is up 8 percent for the year to date through Tuesday's close.