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Larry Thomas

Ethan Allen profits climb 21.9% in quarter as sales increase

DANBURY, Conn. — Aided by a 4.9% same-store sales increase at its retail stores, Ethan Allen said profits jumped 21.9% in the quarter ended Dec. 31.

The manufacturer and retailer said the earnings increase came in spite of Hurricane Sandy, which hurt written orders, delivered sales and manufacturing margins during the quarter. The company didn't adjust its earnings to reflect Sandy's impact, but estimated the storm reduced earnings by 2 cents to 3 cents per share.

Farooq Kathwari, chairman and CEO, said 28 company-owned stores and eight independent Ethan Allen retailers were affected by the storm.

Profits in the quarter totaled $9.85 million or 34 cents per share. That was up from $8.08 million or 28 cents per share in the same quarter the previous year.
The current quarter's earnings were reduced by 2 cents per share due to start-up costs from opening retail stores in Brussels and Montreal, and were cut another 3 cents per share when the company wrote down the value of two vacant manufacturing plants.

Companywide sales totaled $191.3 million, an increase of 4.4% from $183.3 million in the comparable quarter.

Sales in Ethan Allen's retail division rose 6.1% to $151.8 million.

For the six months ended Dec. 31, the first half of the company's fiscal year, sales totaled $378.7 million, an increase of 2.8% from $368.2 million in the six months ended Dec. 31, 2011.

Six-month profits were $19.9 million or 68 cents per share. That was up 34.1% from $14.8 million or 51 cents per share in the comparable period.

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