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Select Comfort earnings decline 48.6% in 4Q

Minneapolis - Mattress manufacturer and retailer Select Comfort said its fourth-quarter sales rose 4.7%, but profits fell almost 50% due largely to higher sales and marketing expenses.
     The company, which makes the Sleep Number airbed, said samestore sales at its company-owned stores - the channel that accounts for nearly 90% of total sales - were flat compared with the fourth quarter of 2012.
     "While we made important progress on strengthening our strategic differentiators and delivered 5% year-over-year sales growth, our financial performance in the fourth quarter did not meet our expectations," said Shelly Ibach, president and CEO. "As we look to 2014, we are cautiously optimistic about the combined impact of ... fundamental product innovations, and the most tested new advertising campaign in our history."
     Fourth-quarter sales totaled $230.9 million, up from $220.6 million in the final quarter of 2012.
     Net income for the quarter totaled $6.43 million or 12 cents per share. That compares with $12.5 million or 22 cents per share in the same period in 2012.
     Results were similar for the 2013 calendar year, which included a 4% decline in same-store sales.
     Net sales totaled $960.1 million, an increase of 2.7% from $935 million in 2012.
     Net income for the year was $60.1 million or $1.08 per share. That was down more than 23% from $78.1 million or $1.37 per share in 2012.
     Also in 2013, Select Comfort said the average sales per square foot dropped to $1,077 from $1,324 in 2012, and the average sales per store dropped to $2.01 million from $2.16 million in 2012.
     The company said it is projecting earnings per share of approximately $1.07 in 2014, assuming a sales increase in the mid- to high single digits and a net gain of 20 to 30 stores.
     The company ended 2013 with 440 stores, an increase of 30 from the end of 2012.

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