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William-Sonoma beats Street as Q4 profit soars


San Francisco Williams-Sonoma’s fourth-quarter profit increased more than sevenfold on lower costs and strong holiday sales, prompting the home-goods chain to forecast strong results in the current quarter and the full year. Its results beat Wall Street expectations.

Chairman and CEO Howard Lester said in a statement that the company maneuvered through the economic downturn in part by reducing expenses and trimming inventory.

Williams-Sonoma said its earnings jumped to $88.4 million for the three months ended Jan. 31, compared with $12.2 million a year earlier.

Revenue climbed 8% to $1.09 billion, from $1.01 billion. The results surpassed Wall Street's $1.07 billion. Same-store sales were up 7.6%.

For the year, Williams-Sonoma's profit more than doubled to $77.4 million. Annual revenue fell 8% to $3.1 billion, from $3.36 billion.

Williams-Sonoma anticipates its fiscal 2010 adjusted profit will climb 22% to 33%.

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