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Culp's sales jump 25.4% in latest quarter

HIGH POINT — Fabric supplier Culp Inc. said its sales shot up 25.4% in the quarter ended April 29, thanks to strong performances from its upholstery fabric and mattress ticking segments.

Sales for the period, the fourth quarter of Culp's fiscal year, totaled $75.7 million - the highest quarterly sales total in eight years.

Mattress ticking sales jumped 23.3% to $43.3 million, while upholstery fabric sales were up 28.4% to $32.3 million.

Net income fell nearly 43% to $3.4 million or 27 cents per share, due to an income tax expense of $2.07 million. In last year's fourth quarter, net income was $6 million or 45 cents per share, and included an income tax benefit of $1.32 million.

"These results reflect improved industry demand and the benefits of our outstanding design capabilities and lean global manufacturing platform," said Frank Saxon, president and CEO. "Culp has a strong competitive position in both mattress fabrics and upholstery fabrics as we have continued to offer a wide range of innovative products that meet the changing style demands of our customers."

The company also initiated a quarterly cash dividend of 3 cents per share and said its board of directors authorized the repurchase of up to $5 million worth of common stock.

Culp bought back 624,459 shares for about $5.4 million in its most recent fiscal year.

The dividend will be paid on or about July 16 to stockholders of record July 2. The company said it anticipates paying a dividend in January, April, July and October of each year.

For the fiscal year ended April 29, sales totaled $254.4 million, an increase of 17.4% from $216.8 million the previous year.

Net income was $13.3 million or $1.03 per share. That was down 17.7% from $16.2 million or $1.22 per share, the previous year. The latest fiscal year included income tax expense of $902,000, and the previous year included an income tax benefit of $1.1 million.

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