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Ethan Allen posts $3.5 million profit as sales rise 10.6%

DANBURY, Conn. — Ethan Allen posted a $3.5 million profit in its fiscal third quarter and a double-digit increase in sales as it increased advertising and benefited from initiatives the vertically integrated company has undertaken in the past three years.

The $3.5 million net income for the period ended March 31 compared with a $900,000 loss for the same period a year ago.

Excluding special items in both periods, including restructuring, impairment and transition charges, Ethan Allen said its net income was $2 million or 7cents per share in the latest quarter, compared with a loss of $1.5 million or 5 cents per share a year ago.

Net sales for the quarter jumped 10.6% to $162.8 million and net sales for its retail division were up 9.3% to $117 million.

"The economy is healing, and due to the many initiatives we have undertaken in the last three years, we remain cautiously optimistic," said Farooq Kathwari, chairman, president and CEO of the Danbury, Conn.-based furniture maker and retailer. "Our plans are for continued investment in advertising and also adding qualified professionals in the retail division."

Kathwari said the company has increased its advertising spending by 31% for the quarter and 26% for the first nine months, compared with the previous year periods. Written business for the retail division in the third quarter increased 11.4% and same-store written business was up 13.4%.

Through nine months, the company, with a network of about 280 design centers in the United States and abroad, reported a 17.4% increase in net sales to $501 million and net income of $22.1 million compared with a $17.8 million loss the year before. Excluding special items in both periods, net income was $10.8 million or 37 cents per share vs. a loss of $8.8 million or 31 cents per share for the same period last year.

Ethan Allen also announced that it was increasing its quarterly dividend by 40% to 7 cent per share, payable July 25 to shareholders of record July 11.

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