GUILD.com: GUILD Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2003 Financial Results Company Posts Record Sales
Madison, WI, January 30, 2004 -- The leading direct marketer of home furnishings and gifts created by artists, GUILD today reported strong results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2003.
"GUILD's fourth quarter performance completes a year of steady growth for our company, and represents the first profitable quarter in the history of GUILD," said Toni Sikes, CEO and Founder of GUILD. Continued Sikes, "We posted record sales while operating with far lower costs in 2003, strengthening our formula for building a successful and enduring business."
December retail sales were up 17%, well above industry averages. For the year, revenues were up 23%, including the spring introduction of The Artful Home(tm), a new book series featuring commissioned artwork for residential settings. The substantial increase in sales represents a steadily growing customer base, achieved while maintaining ongoing cost discipline. 2003 operating costs decreased 10% from 2002.
In 2003, GUILD's proprietary technology platform put new power into its no-inventory business model. By automating everything from point of sale to fulfillment, GUILD delivered greater efficiencies to the 1,000 North American artists benefiting from this highly scaleable infrastructure.
Fourth Quarter 2003 Highlights:
· Estimated December 2003 revenues increased 17% from December 2002.
· GUILD achieved profitability for the 2003 fourth quarter.
· As in previous holiday seasons, art glass was the top-selling category, with the highest average order value. Jewelry and hand-made ornaments were also strong sales categories.
· Estimated 2003 revenues increased 23% from the same period in 2002.
· Estimated 2003 operating costs decreased 10% from the same period in 2002.
· Direct-to-consumer sales (catalog and website) were the primary growth drivers in 2003, with sales of furniture, lighting and home décor items fueling the growth.
Mike Baum Assumes Newly Created Leadership Position at GUILD
Madison, WI, January 30, 2004 -- The leading direct marketer of home furnishings and gifts created by artists, GUILD today announced the appointment of Michael Baum to the new position of President, effective February 2, 2004. Reporting directly to GUILD CEO and Founder Toni Sikes, Baum will have full management responsibility for the company, including marketing, publishing, finance and operations, while Sikes focuses on the Company's long-term strategies for growth and leads efforts to diversify its direct-to-consumer business. Baum was formerly the CEO of Renaissance Learning (Nasdaq: RLRN), a leading education software developer and direct marketer.
During his tenure as CEO of Renaissance Learning, the company attained national prominence in educational software and school improvement, with sales growing from $20 million to over $100 million. Baum led a highly successful IPO, repositioned corporate marketing, completed and integrated three acquisitions, and developed new products.
Prior to Renaissance Learning, Baum spent a decade in executive roles at Francorp, an international franchise consulting firm where he served in roles from creative director to general manager, overseeing consulting for global firms such as Mobil and Texaco, as well as regional success stories such as Culver's Frozen Custard. Baum began his career as a merchandiser and giftwares buyer with Bennett Brothers, a Chicago-based direct marketer. He holds an MBA from Northwestern University and bachelor's and master's degrees from Yale University.
About GUILD, LLC
GUILD, LLC offers 10,000 original works of art, including home furnishings, unique gifts and fine art books through its direct-to-consumer (catalog, website) and publishing divisions. The company's mission is to help people bring beautiful work by artists into their homes and workplaces.
For more information on GUILD.com, contact Thane Ryland at 608.227.4163 or firstname.lastname@example.org.