Reflecting the acquisitions of two highly profitable specially shop chains in recent months, Garfinckel, Brooks Brother, Miller & Rhoads Inc. reported yesterday that per share earnings rose 47 percent in the quarter ended April 29.
At the retail company's annual meeting here, officials also confirmed previously reported plans of the Garfinckel's specially store division to locate a new branch store in the Georgetown section of Washington.
Earnings for the first fiscal quarter totaled $1.16 million (25 cents a share) compared with $747.000 (17 cents) in the same period a year earlier. Sale were up to percent to $79.7 million and Chairman David R. Waters told stockholders he expects sales of the firm to reach $400 million this year compared with $330 million in the 12 months ended last Jan. 28.
A major factor in the growth of quarterly sales and profits and expectations for the full year is the Garfinckel corporation's aggressive acquisition policy, which led to takeovers of the Ann Taylor fashion shops last September and Catherine's Stout Shoppes in January.
Addressing about 150 company officials and stockholders at the Washington Hilton, Waters said that "barring unforeseen developments or a drastic slowdown at year's end," the improvement in profitability would be comparable with the expected sales rise.
Last year, Garfinckel, Brooks Brothers earned a record $11.2 million ($2.61 a share), the fourth consecutive year of record profits. The company owns the local Garfinckel chain; Brooks Brother, with stores across the nation; the Miller & Rhodas department stores based in Richmond; Miller's of Knoxville; the Joseph R. Harris Co. of Washington; Harzfeld's of Kansas City; Ann Taylor, and Catherine's which operates 74 stores in 26 states that feature larger size apparel for women.
Altogether, the Washington-based retail firm had 192 stores at the end of the initial year of an ambitious five-year expansion program detailed at last year's annual meeting by Waters. At the time, he said the company aimed to double its sales volume in five years. Yesterday, Waters said the 1977 results met the first-year goal on a path toward the $600 million of sales planned in 1981.
Walters said the local Garfinkel stores had suffered from an "ouslaught" of new competition during the first half of last year, reference to the arrival in Washington's suburbs of two Bloomingdale's stores. But sales and profits exceeded expectations in the second half. There were "significant sales increases and improved profits" in the recent quarter, despite the arrival of an additional big ticket retailer, Neiman-Marcus.
He confirmed that Garfinckel's eight area store, a relatively small 16,000-square-foot unit that will feature women's appareal and accessories, will be part of the Georgetown Park complex at Wisconsin Avenue and M Street NW, behind Rive Gauches restaurant. Garfinckel will have two shopping levels in the three-story retail and housing project, which is scheduled to open in 1980.
Executive Vice President Robert Vandemark said the company will increase capital spending in the current year by 150 percent to $10 million - with $3 million earmarked for new stores and $3 million for renovating existing units. In 1979, he added, the company probably will have to raise an unspecified amount of outside capital to continue its expansion program.
Waters said the downtown Garfinckel store has produced increased sales volume in each year since 1969 and forecast "great promise for the future," because of planned retail and office development on all sidesof the 14th and F Street NW location.