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Furniture Brands loses $21.2M in quarter as sales fall 11.3%

ST. LOUIS — Furniture Brands International reported a first-quarter loss of $21.2 million as sales fell 11.3%.

The net loss, which equals 38 cents per share, reversed a profit of $379,000 or 1 cent per share recorded in last year's first quarter.

Sales for the quarter totaled $254.7 million, down from $287.3 million in the first quarter of 2012.

The company said sales at its 49 company-owned Thomasville retail stores fell 2% to $26.9 million, and the stores recorded an operating loss of $5.14 million. In the comparable quarter last year, the operating loss was $3.08 million.

Furniture Brands, which records retail sales once the product is delivered to the consumer, said written sales rose 6% during the quarter.

"While this was a difficult quarter in what was a volatile environment, we are aggressively addressing the issues," said Ralph Scozzafava, chairman and CEO. "We are well underway on implementing our transformation plan to restore positive EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) and free cash flow generation."

Scozzafava said the company "made significant progress" by revamping the stationary upholstery product line at Lane and introducing motion upholstery at Broyhill during last month's High Point Market.

In addition, he said the supply chain efficiency is being improved, and said two domestic factories are being consolidated in order to cut costs.

"We continued our overall cost containment efforts and have identified further opportunities for meaningful reductions," he said.

In addition to Lane, Broyhill and Thomasville, Furniture Brands is the parent company of Drexel Heritage, Henredon, Maitland-Smith, Hickory Chair, Pearson, Lane Venture and LaBarge.

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