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Larry Thomas

Furniture Brands trims quarterly loss to $18 million

ST. LOUIS - Furniture Brands International reported today that it cut its third-quarter net loss to $18 million on a 0.9% drop in sales.
     The most recent quarterly loss, which equals 33 cents per share, compares with a net loss of $24.5 million or 45 cents per share, in last year's third quarter. The year-ago period included a one-time $9 million asset impairment charge.
     The most recent quarter included $1.9 million in inventory writedowns and $900,000 in additional interest charges stemming from a recent debt refinancing.
     Third-quarter sales totaled $255.6 million, down from $258 million in last year's third quarter.
     Ralph Scozzafava, chairman and CEO, said the company saw an improving shipment trend through the quarter.
     "Encouragingly, our order activity for the third quarter showed improvement on both a sequential and year over year basis, enabling us to carry an increased order backlog into the fourth quarter," he said. "Our new product introductions are resonating with customers and helping us gain incremental distribution as well as replace older products at retail.
     "In addition, the new financing package that we recently secured greatly improves our borrowing capacity and financial flexibility, enabling us to continue to pursue our strategy to drive sales, improve efficiencies and make opportunistic investments in our business," said Scozzafava.
     Sales at the company's 48 Thomasville stores fell 6.5% to $24.9 million, and the stores' operating loss increased to $4.67 million from $3.86 million in the same quarter a year ago.
     For the nine months ended Sept. 30, sales at the Thomasville stores fell 5.5% to $78 million, and the operating loss totaled $12.1 million. In the first nine months of last year, the operating loss was $13.1 million.
     Companywide sales for the first nine months of 2012 were $808.4 million, a decrease of 5.1% from $852.1 million in the same period in 2011.
     The nine-month net loss totaled $24.4 million or 44 cents per share. That was down from $34.3 million or 62 cents per share in the first nine months of 2011.

Furniture Brands International

Owns Broyhill, Drexel Heritage, Henredon, Lane, Maitland-Smith and Thomasville
Earnings per share are fully diluted, and all figures in parentheses are losses or declines.

Quarter ended 9/30

2012

2011

Change

Sales

$255,639,000

$258,047,000

(0.9%)

Operating income

(15,824,000)

(17,454,000)

-

Net income (a) (b)

(17,981,000)

(24,546,000)

-

Earnings per share

(0.33)

(0.45)

-

9 months ended 9/30

2012

2011

Change

Sales

$808,371,000

$852,128,000

(5.1%)

Operating income

(20,208,000)

(25,344,000)

-

Net income (a)

(24,372,000)

(34,253,000)

-

Earnings per share

(0.44)

(0.62)

-

(a) Includes $9 million asset impairment charge in 2011. (b) Includes inventory writedowns of $1.9 million in 2012.

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