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From Home Furnishing Business

La-Z-Boy Reports Flat Sales, 1% Earnings Increase in Fiscal First Quarter

La-Z-Boy Incorporated (LZB), a global residential furniture company reported sales were flat in the quarter ended July 30, but net income rose about 1% to $13.8 million, or 28 cents per share.

The company said demand was weak on the wholesale side of its business, while traffic was inconsistent at its La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries retail stores.

Net sales for the quarter -- the first quarter of the company's fiscal year -- totaled $340.8 million. That compares with $341.4 million in the same quarter last year.

La-Z-Boy said sales in its upholstery segment fell 1.9% to $267.4 million, and sales in its casegoods segment rose 7% to $25 million.

Same-store sales in its retail network declined 1.9%. That compares with a 5.3% increase in last year's first fiscal quarter.

"As we move into the early fall, we are optimistic about the prospects for upholstery and casegoods collections introduced at the April Furniture Market in High Point," said Kurt Darrow, Chairman, President and CEO

"In particular, the iClean fabric collection introduced for our La-Z-Boy product line and the AD Modern group from American Drew were received enthusiastically by our dealer base.  These products will arrive on retail floors in September.”

On the retail side, the company ended the quarter with 342 La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries stores, including 127 company-owned locations.

Two company-owned stores were opened during the quarter, and shortly after the quarter ended, the company acquired four stores from a licensee in Canada.

"Historically, in terms of sales, these four stores have been among the highest-performing throughout the La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries network," said Darrow, "and we expect them to contribute approximately $25 million in sales on an annual basis to the company's retail segment." 

In the current fiscal year, Darrow said the company anticipates a net gain of 12 new stores, as well as more than a dozen remodels and relocations of existing stores.

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