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From Home Furnishing Business

Hooker Furniture Reports 1Q Income of $2.8M

Hooker Furniture (NASDAQ: HOFT) posted net sales of $61.4 million and net income of $2.8 million for the first quarter ended May 4.

The company's net income increase 31.9 percent compared to $2.1 million reported in the same quarter last year. Hooker attributed much of the gain to higher case goods sales.

First quarter net sales increased 9.1 percent compared to 56.3 million for the same period a year ago. The company said case goods sales were up 10.1 percent and upholstery sales climbed 7.3 percent.

"We're gratified to see case goods growing again," said Paul B. Toms Jr., chairman and CEO. "While upholstery sales have grown faster than case goods sales over the last few years, we're seeing indications of a recovery in case goods sales and improved retailer ability to sell large-ticket bedroom, dining and home office furniture."

Hooker's new business ventures, H Contract and Homeware, reported operating losses for the quarter of $357,000. These new initiatives decreased net income by $233,000 after tax or $0.02 per share. H Contract, which offers upholstered seating and case goods to upscale senior living facilities, is now operating near break-even versus operating losses a year ago. Homeware, an online-only, direct-to-consumer brand of furnishings and home décor, "continues to have operating losses, but is operating close to expectations as we continue to invest in marketing to build brand awareness," Toms said.

The entire earnings release is available online

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