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Larry Thomas

Culp's sales climb 18.7% in latest quarter

Mattress ticking, upholstery fabric segments both healthy

HIGH POINT — Fabric supplier Culp Inc. said its sales increased 18.7% in the second fiscal quarter, thanks to strong performances in its mattress ticking and upholstery fabric businesses.

The company said mattress ticking sales were 24.4% above the same quarter last year, while upholstery fabric sales were 10.8% ahead of the comparable period.

Net income for the quarter ended Oct. 30 was $6.25 million or 49 cents per share, a 56.2% increase from the same quarter last year. The latest quarter included an income tax benefit of $3.4 million. Pretax income totaled $2.86 million, down 10.6% from $3.2 million in the same quarter in 2010.

Companywide sales for the quarter totaled $58 million, up from $48.9 million a year ago.

"We are pleased with the positive sales trend for the second quarter and through the first half of fiscal 2012," said Frank Saxon, CEO. "Both of our businesses had impressive sales gains in spite of an uncertain global economic environment, and we are well positioned to build further on this sales momentum."

"These trends reflect the success of our various sales and marketing initiatives along with the benefits of our excellent design capabilities and efficient manufacturing platform," he added.

Saxon said profitability was hurt by higher raw materials costs in both business segments and unfavorable currency exchange rates the upholstery fabric unit.

In the most recent quarter, mattress ticking made up 60.7% of sales while upholstery fabrics accounted for 39.3%.

For the six months ended Oct. 30, companywide sales totaled $118.3 million, up 12.9% from $104.8 million in the same period a year ago.

Six-month net income, including a $2.24 million income tax benefit, totaled $8.07 million or 62 cents per share. That's an increase of 4.2% from $7.75 million or 59 cents per share in the first half of the previous fiscal year.

Saxon said he expects sales in the third fiscal quarter to increase 2% to 6%, "even though we expect the overall economic uncertainties and issues surrounding the housing market, along with high unemployment, to continue to influence consumer demand for furniture and bedding."

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