DALLAS-The Neiman Marcus Group Inc. achieved a profit of $34 million or 69 cents per diluted share for the fourth quarter fiscal 2005, a 67% increase over the $21 million or 42 cents per diluted share for the same period last year.

The retailer’s earnings were impacted by a pretax gain of roughly $6.2 million from the sale of its private label credit card account portfolio to HSBC Retail Services. Neiman Marcus also received about $7.6 million of tax benefits related to tax settlements and reductions in deferred tax liabilities.

Excluding the pretax gain and tax benefits, Neiman Marcus posted earnings of $26 million, or 53 cents per diluted share, compared to $23 million, or 47 cents per diluted share for the same period last year. The fourth quarter 2005 earnings represent a 15% increase. During the fourth quarter, Neiman Marcus reportedtotal revenues of $851 million compared to $784 million in the prior year, an increase of 9.6%. The company’s specialty retail stores segment, which consists of Neiman Marcus Stores and Bergdorf Goodman, reached $687 million in revenues compared to $636 million in the previous year.

Revenues increased 7% for Neiman Marcus stores, while comp-store sales jumped 6.4%. Bergdorf Goodman’s revenues spiked 14.5%. Neiman Marcus Direct, the company’s direct marketing arm, reported fourth quarter fiscal year 2005 revenues of $134 million compared to $125 million in the previous year–an increase of 19.5% compared to the fourth quarter 2004.

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