April 14, 2004, 12:00 AM

ToysRUs.com chief tapped as Toys R Us Inc. CFO

Ray Arthur led the toy giant’s e-commerce operation to profits in the fourth quarters of 2002 and 2003 and put it on track to full-year profitability. Now he’ll try to boost performance at Toys “R” Us Inc.

ToysRUs.com president Raymond L. Arthur led the toy giant’s e-commerce operation to profitability in the fourth quarter of 2002 and 2003; now he’ll get a chance to help boost results at Toys “R" Us Inc., which this week named Arthur its chief financial officer.

“Under his leadership our online business has consistently improved its performance, and is successfully proceeding toward full-year profitability,” says John Eyler, chairman, CEO and president of the company. “Ray’s experience as an operating manager and his financial and accounting background led us to conclude that he is the best candidate to take on the CFO role.”

Arthur replaces Louis Lipschitz, who retired as CFO in March. For now, Arthur’s duties at ToysRUs.com will be assumed by Rick Markee, vice chairman of Toys "R" Us Inc. and president of the company`s U.S. Toy Stores division.

Arthur faces a challenge pulling up the financial performance of Toys “R” Us Inc., which has lost market share and now trails Wal-Mart as the nation’s largest seller of toys. Toys "R" Us Inc. remains the country’s largest specialty toy retailer.

Toys "R" Us Inc. reported net income of $88 million on sales of $11.5 billion for the year, which represented sales growth of 2.3% over the previous year, but was a 62% reduction in net income from the previous year’s net income of $229 million. At ToysRUs.com, which operates on the Amazon.com platform, fourth quarter 2003 sales totaled $198 million, an increase of 2.6% from 2002 sales of $193 million. Q4 2003 net earnings reached $144 million vs. $278 million in Q4 ’02.

Sales for fiscal 2003 rose 10.6% to $376 million from $340 million in 2002. For the year ended January 31, 2004, the operating loss was $18 million versus an operating loss of $37 million for the comparable period in 2002.


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