Furniture Brands sales fall, loss widens

Furniture Brands International said its second-quarter sales were $265.5 million, down 10.4 percent from the $296.2 million recorded during the second quarter last year.

Also, the parent of Lane Furniture said its loss for the period was $6.8 million, or 12 cents a share, compared to $6.6 million, or 12 cents a share a year ago.

Highlights from a Furniture Brands news release:

Ralph Scozzafava, chairman and CEO of the company said, “We continue to make proress with our ongoing cost and efficiency oefforts. Our ability to deliver second-quarter operating results that were flat to the prior year period despite the decreased sales volume is a result of these efforts. As we continue to improve our efficiency, we are also focused on driving sales through new product offerings that are updated, relevant and offer value to the customer. We are seeking broader acceptance of this newer product, which has contributed to our increased order backlog at the end of the quarter. We also remain disciplind on the capital allocation front as we work toward our goal of improving our operating results and generating positive free cash flow in 2012.”

Gross profit for the quarter was $64 million and gross margin was 24.1 percent, compared to $73.4 million in gross profit and 24.8 percent gross margin in the prior-year period. The decrease in second-quarter 2012 gross margin was primarily due to additional clearance of older inventory and product that is being replaced, decreased retail margin and lower plant utilization, partially offset by lower costs resulting from prior cost reduction activities.

The company had an operating loss of $5.8 million as compared to an operating loss of $5.8 million in the prior-year period.

The company ended the quarter with a cash balance of $19.1 million and a debt balance of $77 million.


Furniture Brands was kind enough to send its earnings release at 7:25 this morning, also announcing that a conference call discussing the results would follow at 7:30.