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Bassett sales climb at least 20% for third straight quarter

BASSETT, Va. — Driven by double-digit increases in its wholesale and retail divisions, Bassett Furniture Inds. said second-quarter sales rose 20.4%.

It marked the third straight quarter in which sales were more than 20% ahead of the same quarter the prior year.

Companywide sales for the quarter ended June 1 totaled $81.2 million. That was up from $67.5 million in the same quarter last year.

The company said wholesale sales were up 17%, while sales at its 55 company-owned Bassett Home Furnishings stores rose 20%. Comparable-store sales were up 9.3%.

"Virtually every sales channel, including our Bassett Home Furnishings stores, open market furniture stores, our juvenile division, and the HGTV Home Furniture Collections account base, generated meaningful sales increases in the period," said Rob Spilman, president and CEO. "While we acknowledge that economic conditions have definitely improved in general, we also believe that we are currently outpacing industry-wide sales trends."

Second-quarter profits totaled $1.95 million or 18 cents per share. That was down from $8.04 million or 71 cents per share in last year's second quarter. The prior year's quarter, however, included $9.01 million in antidumping duties.

Excluding the antidumping money, Bassett said pre-tax income totaled $3.3 million in the most recent quarter, compared with $900,000 in the same quarter last year.

Spilman said the company's domestic upholstery operations recorded a 20% increase in sales and a 45% increase in operating profit, while wood furniture sales were up 16% and operating profit was even with last year's second quarter.

Company-owned stores recorded an operating profit of $300,000, marking the ninth consecutive quarter of improvement.

As of June 1, there were 55 company-owned and 34 licensed Bassett Home Furnishings stores. Spilman said the company plans to open six corporate stores and reposition five others in the next nine months.

For the six months ended June 1, companywide sales were up 25.4% to $161.1 million.

Six-month net income totaled $2.93 million, or 27 cents per share. That compared with $7.45 million or 66 cents per share in the first half of the previous fiscal year - a period that included the $9.01 million in antidumping duties.

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