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From Home Furnishing Business

Havertys Sales up 7.6 Percent in Q4

Home furnishings retailer Harvertys (NYSE: HVT) reported fourth-quarter 2013 sales of $196.2 million, a 7.6 percent increase over the prior-year period.

Net income for the quarter leapt 42.8 percent to $9.7 million. Comparable store sales were up 9.5 percent; and average ticket rose 5.7%. 

"2013 was a continuation of the turnaround that we truly began in 2011," said Clarence Smith, chairman, president and CEO of Havertys, Atlanta. "Many aspects of our business have been fine tuned to enhance our customer's perception of Havertys and her purchasing experience. We have improved our stores and highlighted our fashion identity in our advertising and merchandise. The 'on trend' customer's response has been favorable.

For the full year of 2013 net sales increased 11.3 percent to $746.1 million. Net income of $32.3 million more than doubled 2012 performance. Comparable store sales were up 11 percent, and average ticket rose 7.8 percent. 

"We continued to expand gross profit margins as we focused on higher price point products and pricing discipline," Smith said. "Our expenses were well controlled and our 2013 net income was double that of 2012. We have certainly been aided by the improving economy and recovery in housing but believe our strategies have compounded their effect."

So far this year, comparable store written business for the first quarter to date of 2014 is up approximately 3.6 percent over the same period last year. Total written business quarter to date is up 2 percent over the 14 percent increase for the same period last year.   

"We plan to continue to highlight our fashionable quality merchandise in 2014 and use promotional pricing judiciously," Smith said. "We expect our annual gross profit margins for 2014 will be 53.8 percent, up slightly from the adjusted 53.7 percent level achieved in 2013." 

Havertys plans to open six new locations in existing markets and complete one major expansion during the year. Three of the new stores are relocations. Two additional stores will close at the end of their lease term. Those changes, if they go as planned, would increase selling square footage this year approximately 1.8 percent and bring Havertys' store count to 120.

Click here for the complete Havertys earnings release.

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