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Furniture Brands sales up 2.3% in 2Q

ST. LOUIS — Furniture Brands International said second-quarter sales were 2.3% above last year's second quarter, but the company reported a net loss of $6.65 million.

The quarterly loss, which equals 12 cents per share, reversed a profit of $4.25 million, or 9 cents per share, in the same quarter last year - a period that included an income tax benefit of $5.3 million.

Sales for the most recent quarter totaled $296.2 million, up from $289.5 million in the same period last year.

"We are pleased to report a sales increase in the second quarter," said Ralph Scozzafava, chairman and CEO. "The initiatives we have implemented to drive our sales are gaining traction, including increasing consumer tested product, new product introductions that are resonating with customers, as well as our brand building initiatives that are serving to drive traffic to our websites and ultimately our stores and those of our dealers."

Sales at Furniture Brands' 48 company-owned Thomasville retail stores rose 1.8% to $26.9 million. Same-store sales were up 8% during the quarter.

The Thomasville stores had an operating loss of $4.7 million, and the company's non-Thomasville branded stores recorded an additional operating loss of $2.2 million. Sales at the non-Thomasville stores fell 5% to $9.55 million.

The other branded stores consist of seven Drexel Heritage, two Lane, seven Designer Showrooms and one each with the Henredon and Broyhill brand names. The company has said it plans to expand the Thomasville chain, but not the other brands.

Companywide sales for the six months ended June 30 totaled $594.1 million, a drop of 2.9% from the first six months of 2010.

The six-month net loss totaled $9.71 million, or 18 cents per share. That compares with net income of $7.75 million, or 16 cents per share, in the first half of 2010. The 2010 figure included an income tax benefit of $7.75 million.


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