Genesco Inc. (NYSE:GCO) Q3 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Dec 06, 2019 • 08:30 am ET
Robert J. Dennis
work together to continue the positive momentum we have built since divesting Lids in February and turn our attention to delivering further value with our footwear focused strategy.
Mimi will discuss the strategic direction and the specific initiatives related to the strategy in more detail on our next call. For now let me walk through the highlights. From the third quarter, from a high level our results significantly exceeded expectations as continued strength of Journeys coupled with much improved performance from Schuh, easily offset headwinds from a challenging quarter for Johnston & Murphy.
The improvement in EPS above our expectations in Q3 was driven by better operating performance and not by additional share buybacks. Consolidated comparable sales increased 3% on top of our most difficult two years comp comparison to date this year. This marks our 10th consecutive quarter of positive comp sales. Importantly, our overall brick-and-mortar performance was positive for the ninth quarter in a row, posting again despite ongoing traffic challenges. Meanwhile e-commerce comps increased almost 20% adding to its strong multi-year run. Total sales for the Company would have been up, but for the impact of lower UK and Canadian exchange rates. Solid comp combined with higher gross margins across all divisions resulted in an improvement in profitability. On an adjusted basis, earnings per share were $1.33 compared with $0.97 in the third quarter last year.
Our third quarter and year-to-date performance highlights the success we are having as a more focused Company on the sale of Lids, as well as the benefit of our aggressive share repurchase activity. Looking at the performance of each of our footwear businesses in the third quarter for Journeys, the quarter was driven by another successful Back to School has full price selling and fashion athletic styles, coupled with an extended sandal season contributed to strong results.
The Journeys team remains at the top of its gain as the team definitely navigates the ongoing fashion rotation that is an inherent part of the business. We are pleased with the balance within Journeys assortment as both fashion athletic and casual brands contributed to it's results in Q3, further strengthening Journeys market position. Both store and e-commerce comps at Journeys were [Indecipherable] positive, which led to a 4% comp increase on top of last year's strong gain. Related to recent quarters, great expense control along with strong sales allowed for expense leverage.
Moving over to the UK, Schuh delivered much stronger Back to School results than we were anticipating, given the prolonged softness in consumer demand for apparel and footwear. Comps increased 3% for the quarter with fashion boots and fashion athletic driving the business. Leading heavily into their advanced omni-channel capabilities. Schuh able to capitalize on an accelerated shift in the UK market online spending, which more than compensated for ongoing softness in store performance. We believe the hard work of the Schuh team and actions under our 20 point plan and at addressing profitability and enhancing Schuh's standing with the consumer