April 28, 2009, 12:00 AM

In spite of two major card holidays, AG Interactive’s Q4 sales fell 4.4%

Q4 Revenue at American Greetings Corp.’s AG Interactive, its web-based greeting card unit, fell to $21.7 million from $22.7 million a year ago, in spite of a fourth quarter that encompassed Christmas and Valentine’s Day, both major card holidays.

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

Revenue at American Greetings Corp.’s AG Interactive, its web-based greeting card unit, grew 7.1% to $84.2 million from $78.6 million in the 12 months that ended Feb. 28, the company reports. However, the unit lost $161 million for the year vs. earning $6.4 million a year earlier.

In spite of a fourth quarter that encompassed Christmas and Valentine’s Day, both major card holidays, AG Interactive’s sales fell 4.4% in Q4 to $21.7 million from $22.7 million. AG Interactive’s Q4 loss was $577,000 vs. a loss of $2.2 million a year earlier.

Total sales for American Greetings, No. 136 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, for the year fell 4.8% to $1.69 billion from $1.77 billion. For the year, the company suffered a net loss of $227.7 million, down from net earnings of $83 million in the prior year.

In the fourth quarter, total sales fell 14.4% to $422.5 million from $493.2 million. In the quarter, the company lost $50.1 million after earning $15.5 million in Q4 a year earlier.

"This fiscal year we faced a challenging retail environment as a result of the steep economic downturn,” says CEO Zev Weiss. “We will continue to be even more vigilant in managing our supply chain and becoming more cost efficient. Our focus on efficiency, we believe, will help us drive a substantial improvement in cash flow next year and we are projecting cash flow from operating activities less capital expenditures to be at least $70 million. We are also excited about the recent acquisitions of Recycled Paper Greetings and the Papyrus brand and satisfied that the sale of our Carlton Retail stores best positions our company and those stores for success."

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