Pier 1 sales up 10.9% in third quarter
Furniture Today Staff -- Furniture Today, November 29, 2012
FORT WORTH, Texas — Pier 1 Imports said its sales for the third quarter ended Nov. 24 were up 10.9% from a year earlier to $425 million, with same-store sales climbing 7.9%.
The Fort Worth-based retailer also projected that its earnings for the quarter will be about 22 to 25 cents per share, topping the 21 cents per share posted a year ago. Hurricane Sandy reduced earnings about 2 cents per share, the company estimated.
Pier 1 said the 7.9% same-store gain - attributed to increased store traffic and a higher average ticket - was on top of a 7% gain in last year's third quarter, and brought the cumulative same-store increase to 25.1% over the past three years. It also said that its gross profit margin grew to approximately 43.9% of sales in the quarter from 43.2% last year.
For the first nine months of the fiscal year, sales were up 9.1% to $1.15 billion, with a same-store increase of 7.3%, the company said.
"We're pleased to deliver strong sales growth this quarter, as customers responded particularly well to our fall assortments. Excluding the impact of Hurricane Sandy, we estimate that third-quarter comp store sales would have increased slightly over 9%," said Alex Smith, president and CEO.
"We have had a terrific start to the holiday season, including a very strong Thanksgiving weekend, and believe the business is ideally positioned with a compelling merchandise assortment and multiple ways to shop the Pier 1 Imports brand, including both in-store and online."
Lost sales and other costs associated with Hurricane Sandy cut earnings by about 2 cents per share in the quarter, officials said. Up to 225 stores were temporarily closed, mainly because of power outages. One store on New York's Long Island remains closed due to storm damage.
"While a large number of our stores experienced closure and disruption due to Sandy, our focus was directed first and foremost on the safety and well-being of our associates and others in need. I am extremely proud of and grateful to our associates for their efforts to reopen our stores quickly, even though their own lives were, and in some cases still are, disrupted," said Smith.
Complete third-quarter results will be announced Dec. 13, the company said.
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