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  • Larry Thomas

La-Z-Boy sales jump 9.8% in fourth quarter

MONROE, Mich. — La-Z-Boy said its sales rose nearly 10% in its fourth quarter and more than 8% in the fiscal year as its wholesale and retail segments turned in solid performances.

Sales rose 9.8% to $359.5 million in the fourth quarter, and were up 8.2% to $1.33 billion for the fiscal year that ended April 27.

Profits were down when compared to last year's fourth quarter and fiscal year, but the previous year included big one-time gains from antidumping duties and reversal of the valuation allowance against deferred tax assets. Excluding last year's one-time gains, profits were significantly higher this year.

For the fourth quarter, upholstery sales rose 8.4% to $289.4 million, while case goods sale fell 8.7% to $32.2 million.

Delivered sales at company-owned La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries stores, meanwhile jumped 32.5% to $73.6 million, and the retail segment recorded an operating profit for the second straight quarter.

The retail segment also had an operating profit of $4.1 million for the full fiscal year.

The company said same-store written sales for company-owned and independent La-Z-Boy stores were up 11.2% in the fourth quarter.

Net income for the fourth quarter totaled $18.3 million or 33 cents per share. That was down from $19.6 million or 37 cents per share, in last year's fourth fiscal quarter. The year-ago period included a gain of 19 cents per share for antidumping duties.

For the full year, net income totaled $46.4 million or 85 cents per share. That was down from $88 million or $1.64 per share the previous year. The prior year included 21 cents per share in antidumping duties and 88 cents per share from the reversal of the valuation allowance.

"We are pleased with our results for the quarter and full year and believe they demonstrate the successful execution and effectiveness of our strategic plan to operate as an efficient integrated retailer, through which we are enjoying a double-digit wholesale/retail margin," said Kurt Darrow, chairman, president and CEO. "For the year, we increased sales, delivered a significant increase in our consolidated operating income, achieved profitability in our retail segment, strengthened our balance sheet, and reinstated our dividend."

Darrow said the company believes "many growth opportunities exist to maximize our business model, making for an exciting future in which we plan to leverage the solid strategic and operating platforms we have established over the past several years."

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