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Larry Thomas

Havertys earnings climb as sales rise 3.8% in fourth quarter

ATLANTA — A renewed focus on higher price points led to top and bottom line improvements in the fourth quarter at Havertys, officials of the Top 100 furniture store said.

The 119-store chain said fourth-quarter sales rose 3.8% to $168.3 million, while same-store sales were up 3.5%.

Net income, including a $10.9 million income tax benefit, totaled $17 million or 76 cents per share. In the fourth quarter of 2010, net income was $5.5 million or 25 cents per share. Pre-tax income in the fourth quarter was $6.06 million, a 7.2% increase from the previous year's fourth quarter.

"We are pleased to report a strong fourth quarter resulting in a profitable year for Havertys," said Clarence Smith, president and CEO. "The initiatives we have begun with our store improvements, renewed focus on higher price point products and emphasizing Havertys' complete array of fashionable quality merchandise helped drive our increase in fourth-quarter sales."

Smith said the retailer's Custom Choice upholstery program was especially strong, and said bedding and family room furniture also sold well.

For the full year, sales were $620.9 million, an increase of 0.1% from $620.3 million in 2010.

Net income in 2011, including the $10.9 million income tax benefit, was $15.5 million or 70 cents per share. That compares with $8.4 million or 38 cents per share in 2010.

Smith said the company plans to open three stores and relocate another store in the second half of this year. Two of the new stores will be in new markets, the Towson area of metro Baltimore and Midland, Texas, and the third will be in the Dallas market, where Havertys already has a strong presence, in Allen, Texas. The relocation will be a store in metro Atlanta. 

"The business environment for home furnishings continues to be difficult," said Smith. "Our merchandising and store improvements are focused on serving our customers better, distinguishing ourselves in the marketplace and giving Havertys an edge over our competitors."


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