Signature Eyewear managed to book net income of $47,000 on sales of $4.9 million in the fourth quarter ending Oct. 31 despite a tough business environment. The period was the company's 24th consecutive profitable quarter in a row.

For the full financial year, however, net income fell to $462,000 to $675,000 and sales slipped to $20.8 million from $23.3 million a year earlier. Signature says it suffered from delivery delays caused by its Chinese suppliers and a weak U.S. economy.

To offset falling revenues it cut selling expenses by $888,000 and general and administrative outlays by $601,000. It believes to have overcome the delivery problem after severing its relationship with certain suppliers and revising its ordering schedule to balance increased production times with customer demand.

The outlook is uncertain. In the current fiscal year, the company will have to compensate revenues lost by the expiration on June 30, 2010 of its bebe and Hummer eyewear licenses. Last November, Signature established the Signature Fashion Group, which will design, manufacture and market women's footwear and fashion accessories. The division will introduce the first women's footwear line, under the house brand Rough Justice, in the spring. The company will launch the Bobby Jones Sunwear, Hickey Freeman Eyewear and Rough Justice Eyewear collections in the late spring of 2011.

Signature is boosting efforts to sell eyewear and sunwear to mid-size retail optical chains, department stores and internet optical retailers as well as developing international sales by expanding into small foreign markets. It is also taking actions to reduce operating expenses to offset as much of the loss of revenue as possible.