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Mossimo CEO Optimistic on Turnaround

May 21, 1999|Leslie Earnest

Mossimo Inc.'s sales should improve by the first of next year based on orders being placed for its expanded product line, Chief Executive Edwin Lewis told shareholders Thursday during the company's annual meeting. While declining to predict specific numbers, Lewis said retailers "see success" in the struggling Irvine company's redesigned clothing. After a year and a half of belt-cinching, Mossimo announced that it had lost an additional $1.5 million in the first quarter while sales fell 42%. Last year, the company lost $13.8 million while sales fell 36% to $45.3 million. Lewis, former chief executive of Tommy Hilfiger, was hired in December, receiving half of founder Mossimo Giannulli's shares in the deal. Mossimo is struggling to regain its footing after stumbling when it tried to switch too quickly from its beachwear roots to more fashionable apparel. In addition to revamping its product line, the company has resolved its delivery problems, Lewis said. Mossimo stock, which has lost 16% this year, fell 19 cents to close at $8.44 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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