By Michelle Graff
Paramus, N.J.--Slow growth for the watch category and a curtailing of purchases from retailers were offset by an improved sell-through at retail to help net sales rise slightly for Movado in its fourth quarter ended Jan. 31.

In its financial results released Tuesday, Movado reported that its total net sales during the three-month period ended Jan. 31 were up 1 percent, increasing from $132.3 million in the prior-year period to $133.91 million in 2015.

Net income in the fourth quarter totaled $9.9 million, up from $7.3 million last year, while operating income also rose 52 percent to $10.1 million.

In a company statement, Movado chairman and CEO Ephraim Grinberg said that the fourth quarter results “surpassed” the company’s guidance. 

With slower watch sales leading third quarter sales to decrease, the company said at that time that it expected the same results in the fourth quarter.

But for the fourth quarter, Grinberg said, “The overall watch category experienced slower growth than in previous years and we saw retailers curtailing their purchasing to more tightly manage their inventory. 

“In addition, extreme fluctuation in foreign currency exchange rates late in the year impacted our results. Nevertheless, we experienced improved sell-through at retail as a result of our design innovation and strength of our brands.”

In the 12-month period, net sales were up 3 percent to $586.98 million. Net income essentially was flat at $51.9 million and operating income rose 6 percent to $71.5 million.

In fiscal 2016, the company anticipates that net sales will increase to between $590 million and $600 million and operating income will increase to the range of $72 million and $75 million. 

It also said that it expects net income in fiscal 2016 to be approximately $48.5 million to $51 million. 

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