April 16, 2008, 12:00 AM

The web accounts for more of Q3 revenue at Celebrate Express

Direct marketer of party supplies and costumes Celebrate Express continues to convert more customers to the web. The Internet accounted for 86% of all sales in the third quarter, up from 80% a year earlier.

The Internet continues to grow as the main source of revenue for Celebrate Express Inc., accounting for 86% of sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2008, ended February 29. The web accounted for 80% of sales in the same quarter of fiscal 2007. Web sales totaled $11.4 million in Q3 vs. $13.4 million in the prior year quarter.

Celebrate Express, No. 163 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, generated $13.3 million in net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2007. That was a decrease of 20.4% from $16.7 million in the prior year period. Net loss was $4.8 million for the quarter, compared with a net loss of $202,000 in Q3 2007.

The online and catalog party supplies and costume retailer also reported $62.2 million in overall revenue for the first nine months of fiscal 2008, down 4.4%, or $2.9 million, from $65.1 million in the same period last year. The company reported a net loss of $5 million, compared with net income $200,000 through three quarters of fiscal 2007. Web sales for the first nine months of FY 2007 totaled $53.5 million vs. about $52.1 million in the prior year.

In early April the company canceled a scheduled quarterly conference call and webcast after it received a merger proposal from unidentified sources.

Efforts to improve sales and operating efficiencies in 2008 include enhanced analysis of catalog circulation and online marketing efforts, aided by the company’s new data warehouse and the addition of new management and staff to its marketing team, introducing new products, and improving catalog and online merchandising strategies, the company says.

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