Hancock results improve in 1Q

BALDWYN – Hancock Fabrics on Wednesday announced it had posted higher quarterly sales and narrowed its operating losses for the first part of the fiscal year.
The craft and fabric retailer also promoted its senior vice president and chief financial officer, Robert Driskell, to executive vice president and CFO, effective immediately.
In the quarterly report released after the markets closed, Hancock reported net sales of $64.1 million, up slightly from $63.8 million in the prior-year period.
Same-store sales – an important retail measurement that refers to sales at stores open for at least a year – were up 2.3 percent, compared with a 3.1 percent dip in the prior year. It’s good news for the Baldwyn-based company that emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year, after filing for reorganization in March 2007.
Despite the improvement, Hancock posted a loss of $900,000 for the first quarter. However, the amount is a marked improvement from a net loss of $5.3 million in the prior-year quarter.
“Although the retail environment is still challenging, we continue to make progress on our key operating initiatives: improving operations and reducing debt,” said Jane Aggers, Hancock’s president and CEO. “We will continue to focus on these initiatives, while providing our customers with the products, services and value they desire as we strive to return to profitability.”
The company also cut its selling, general and administrative expenses by $2.6 million, namely by “increased labor efficiency, reduced store operating expenses and savings of professional fees.
During the quarter, the company opened one store and remodeled two stores, to end the period with 264 stores.
Hancock is hosting a conference call and Web cast this morning to discuss the quarterly earnings.

Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or carlie.kollath@djournal.com.

Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal