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Chromcraft Revington sales up 11% on strength of commercial seating shipments

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Chromcraft Revington's first-quarter sales were up 11.3% from the same period a year earlier, mainly because of stronger shipments of commercial seating products, the company said.

The manufacturer and importer, whose brands include Chromcraft, Peters-Revington and Cochrane, reported sales of $13.9 million, up from $12.5 million a year ago.

It posted a loss of $746,000 or 15 cents per share for the quarter, compared with a loss of $1.8 million or 38 cents per share a year ago.

"Despite the continuing difficult retail operating environment, we increased sales by 11% in the first quarter of 2012 as compared to the prior year period largely due to increased sales of our commercial seating products to government agencies, higher education institutions and the health care industry," said Ronald Butler, chairman and CEO.

"The increased sales, along with a favorable product sales mix and lower unabsorbed fixed manufacturing costs, led to over a 70% increase in gross margin in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the first quarter of 2011, while holding the line on selling, general and administrative expenses. The ongoing difficult operating environment in the residential furniture market will continue to be challenging in 2012," he said.

Company officials said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that on the residential side, furniture shipments were slightly higher than in the 2011 first quarter, mainly because of sales of new bedroom groups that began shipping in last year's second quarter.

Chromcraft noted that it completed its acquisition of Executive Office Concepts - a California-based manufacturer and distributor of commercial furniture, mainly in the health care sector - on March 20, so the deal didn't add much to first-quarter revenues. It said the purchase price was $509,000, including $200,000 paid at closing with the remainder to be paid in quarterly installments over three years.

Butler said the increased presence in the growing health care sector positions the commercial line of the Chromcraft division "favorably for the future."

He added that a $5 million credit facility the company entered into with Gibraltar Business Capital last month gives the company the flexibility and borrowing capacity it needs to meet its operating cash requirements.

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