• Larry Thomas

Furniture Brands swings to profit despite sales dip

ST. LOUIS - Furniture Brands International said its first-quarter sales fell 3.6%, but the company reversed the net loss recorded in last year's first quarter.
     The company said it had a profit of $379,000 or 1 cent per share in the quarter. That compares with a net loss of $3.06 million or 6 cents per share in the first quarter of 2011.
     Operating income was $1.44 million, reversing an operating loss of $2.05 million in last year's first quarter.
     Sales totaled $287.3 million, down from $297.9 million in the same period last year.
     Furniture Brands said sales at its 64 company owned retail stores - most of which are dedicated Thomasville stores - totaled $35.5 million, down from $39 million at 65 stores in last year's first quarter.
     The 48 company-owned Thomasville stores had sales of $27.5 million, down 5.3% from $29 million in the comparable period in 2011. However, the stores cut their operating loss to $3.08 million from $4.29 million in last year's first quarter.
     Same-store sales at the Thomasville stores were even with last year's first quarter.
     "We were pleased to report an improvement in operating earnings this quarter as the cost and efficiency initiatives put in place are yielding the intended results," said Ralph Scozzafava, chairman and CEO. "We are focused on driving sales by developing relevant product and values that resonate with customers, providing the highest level of service to our dealer partners and improving the performance of our company-owned stores."
     He added, "We will do this while staying disciplined on the cost and capital allocation front in order to improve profitability and deliver on our 2012 goal of generating positive free cash flow."

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 3/31








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