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From Home Furnishing Business

Fabric Supplier Culp Reports Flat Sales, Double-digit Profit Increase

Fabric supplier Culp Inc. (CFI) said sales edged up 0.6% to $80.7 million in the quarter ended July 31, but net income jumped 13%.

The company said top-line growth came from its mattress ticking business, which had a 5.7% sales increase. Upholstery fabric sales fell 6.9%.

Net income totaled $5.31 million or 43 cents per share. That was up from $4.7 million or 38 cents per share in the same quarter last year.

“We are pleased to report a strong first quarter for Culp in fiscal 2017, highlighted by better than expected sales in mattress fabrics and an improved operating performance in both of our businesses,” said Frank Saxon, President and CEO. “Our total sales were in line with expectations and were up slightly compared with very strong first quarter sales a year ago.”

“Our strategic focus on creative designs, innovation and exceptional customer service continues to drive both businesses,” he added.

The company said mattress ticking sales exceeded expectations, driven by innovative products and exceptional customer service.

“Looking ahead, the fundamentals of our mattress fabric business are solid, and we have an excellent infrastructure to support our continued growth and innovation,” said Iv Culp, President of the Mattress Fabrics division. “While we see some uncertainty with respect to demand trends for the rest of fiscal 2017, Culp has a solid competitive position, and we will continue to be strategic in targeting customers who value our innovation and compelling value proposition. We remain confident in our ability to execute our strategy with continued success in the year ahead,” Culp concluded.

The company said upholstery fabric sales were slightly below expectations due to softer retail demand and the company’s customer mix strategy, but operating results showed solid improvement.

”Overall, we are pleased with the consistent execution of our product-driven strategy with an unrelenting focus on creative designs and innovation,” said Boyd Chumbley, president of the upholstery fabrics division. “At the same time, we are succeeding with our plan to diversify both our customer and product mix to enhance our profitability.”

Saxon said he expects upholstery fabric sales in the second fiscal quarter to be flat or slightly lower than the same quarter last year because of the continuing weak retail environment for furniture sales.

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