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Havertys Reports Annual Sales, Income

By Home Furnishings Business in on February 2006 Atlanta-based Havertys has reported net income for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 of $6.8 million, a 22.4 percent decline from the $8.7 million posted during the same quarter last year.

Earnings for the year were $15.1 million, a 33.5 percent decrease compared with $22.6 million during the year before.

As previously reported, sales for the fourth quarter were $225.6 million, a 4.1 percent jump from sales in the corresponding quarter in 2004. Annual sales increased 5.5 percent to $827.7 million from $784.2 million in 2004. Comparable-store sales in 2005 increased 1.2 percent for the fourth quarter and 1.8 percent for the year.

Clarence H. Smith, president and chief executive officer, said the company's fourth quarter earnings reflected modest sales increases and improving gross profit margins offset by higher sales, general and administrative costs and much lower other income from property dispositions.

"The gross profit margins were 59 basis points better than the fourth quarter last year and the highest of any 2005 quarter," Smith said. "We attribute this progress to increased sales of our Havertys Collections private label products replacing sales of widely distributed merchandise sold under certain manufacturers' brands."

The retailer is putting a lot of emphasis on its private label product line.

"The Havertys brand has become a central focus for our future and key to further improving gross profit margins," Smith said. "We believe we can increase market share in 2006 as we strive to better connect with our customers and earn more of their business."

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