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Michael Knell

Easyhome earnings jump 39% in third quarter

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Its short-term consumer loan operations continue to drive growth for Easyhome in the third quarter as its core merchandise leasing business suffered a slight setback during the period, even though furniture sales were up 5% and delivery growth was up 6.8%.

Easyhome revenue was C$49.3 million, an uptick of 5.8% from last year's third quarter. Net income was C$2.6 million or 22 cents per share, up 39% from C$1.9 million or 16 cents per share.

Including the revenue contributions from Easyfinancial, same-store sales were up 9.8%

At the end of the quarter, Easyhome's consumer loans receivable portfolio was up 40% from a year earlier, to C$59.6 million. The company also said that revenue from its franchise system increased 35% over the third quarter of 2011 as the last of the three original Be a Contender franchise locations repaid its debt to the company.

"We are pleased with our financial performance and with the completion of several strategic initiatives during the quarter," Easyhome President and CEO David Ingram said in a statement. "The restructuring of our Easyhome leasing operations that occurred in the second quarter of this year delivered the expected results. Our Easyfinancial services business continued to produce higher earnings and margin expansion."

The company's Easyfinancial unit had revenue increase of 52% to C$9.8 million, which was attributed to the increase in the loans receivable portfolio.

Leasing operations recorded revenues of C$39.1 million, down from C$39.8 for the same period last year, while franchising operations recorded revenues of C$300,000, relatively unchanged from the same period last year.

For the first nine months of the year, Easyhome revenues were C$148 million, up 6.4% from the comparable period in 2011. Net income was C$7.3 million or 61 cents per share, up from C$7 million or 59 cents per share a year ago.

Ingram said Easyhome doesn't plan to add any leasing stores to its corporate network in 2013, although it is planning to add as many as five franchise locations as well as four new Be a Contender franchises.

The company will also open as many as 35 Easyfinancial locations, the majority of which will be stand-alone operations while growing its loan portfolio to somewhere between C$90 million and C$100 million.

Ingram said Easyhome is targeting total revenue growth of 8 to 12% next year.

The company, Canada's largest leasing merchant for furniture, mattresses, appliances and electronics, operates 206 Easyhome leasing stores and 46 franchise locations in Canada and the United States. It also has 101 Easyfinancial locations across Canada.

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