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  • Larry Thomas

Culp sales climb 13.6% in quarter

Company says product innovation paying off

HIGH POINT — Fabric supplier Culp Inc. said sales in the third fiscal quarter jumped 13.6% as the company's mattress ticking and upholstery fabric businesses recorded solid gains.

The company said mattress ticking sales rose 8.5%, while upholstery fabric sales shot up 20.1%.

Net sales for the quarter ended Jan. 26 totaled $72.4 million, up from $63.7 million in the same quarter the previous year.

Net income for the quarter, which included an income tax benefit of $3.8 million, was $8.38 million or 68 cents per share. In the comparable quarter, it was $2.82 million or 23 cents per share.

"These results are primarily product related, as we continue to experience excellent customer response to our creative designs and innovative fabrics," said Frank Saxon, president and CEO. "We have worked diligently - as our top strategic priority - to drive product innovation throughout our company. It is very encouraging to see significant tangible progress resulting from these efforts with increased sales to existing key customers as well as new customers."

Saxon said the upholstery fabrics gain was due in part to purchases made in advance of the Chinese New Year, but also resulted from positive response to new fabric offerings.

Culp's fabric plant in China generated 92% of the company's upholstery fabric sales during the quarter.

"Our 100%-owned China platform offers significant manufacturing flexibility to produce a variety of product categories, and we have continued to leverage this capability to meet changing customer demand in line with furniture style trends," Saxon said.

Mattress fabric sales, meanwhile, were aided by continuing strong demand for higher-end goods.

"The fundamentals of our mattress fabrics business are strong and Culp has a solid competitive position with a favorable product mix that reflects today's style trends," said Iv Culp, president of the mattress fabrics division. "We are very encouraged by the response to our exciting designs and new product introductions."

For the nine months ended Jan. 26, net sales rose 7.4% to $213.1 million. The company said mattress ticking sales rose 3.4% and upholstery fabric sales were up 12.7%.

Nine-month net income was $14.71 million or $1.19 per share. That was up from $14.61 million or $1.17 per share in the first nine months of the previous fiscal year.

Saxon said sales for the current fiscal year, which ends in late April, should be about 5% ahead of the previous fiscal year.

 

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