March 31, 2010, 12:00 AM

Web sales fell by 15% for 2009, but eCost.com turned a profit in Q4

ECost.com, the mass merchant segment of PFSweb, reported web sales of $84.6 million in 2009, a 15.2% decline from the prior year. But eCost.com also turned a small profit in the fourth quarter, its first since being acquired by PFSweb in 2006.

Web sales were down in 2009 for eCost.com Inc., but the mass merchant logged a profit in the fourth quarter, its first profitable quarter since being acquired by PFSweb Inc.

For the full year ended Dec. 31, 2009, eCost.com reported:

  • E-commerce revenue was $84.6 million, down by 15.2% from $99.8 million in 2008.
  • Net loss was $1.19 million compared with $19.1 million in the prior year.
For the fourth quarter, eCost.com, No. 128 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reported:
  • Web sales were $22.8 million, a 9.2% decrease from $25.1 million in Q4 of 2008.
  • Net income was $34,000, marking its first profitable quarter since being acquired by PFSweb in 2006. Net loss for Q4 2008 was $16.9 million.
“I am pleased by the fourth quarter results of our eCost.com business and by the improving trends that eCost.com demonstrated throughout 2009,” says Mark C. Layton, CEO of PFSweb. “While revenue was down in 2009, primarily due to the economy, we continue to drive forward with initiatives orientated towards improving gross margins in the consumer segment of eCost.com. These actions, along with further streamlining of the eCost.com operations that resulted in lower cost levels, have allowed us to improve the overall financial results of the business on lower overall revenues.”

In late 2009, PFSweb started up a new division within eCost.com called eStore Retail Services, designed to establish the link between PFSweb services and eCost.com, Layton says. The new division enables PFSweb Services to offer certain interactive marketing, product procurement, rich content merchandising, customer acquisition methodologies and other web retail services that eCost.com has developed, he adds.

For the full year, PFSweb reported:

  • Total revenue decreased by 22%, to $352.5 million from $451.8 million in 2008.
  • Net loss was $4.6 million, compared with a net loss of $15.7 million last year.
PFSweb provides business process outsourcing services and e-commerce software, in addition to selling on the web through eCost.com.

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