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From Home Furnishing Business

Bassett Q3 Profits Climb Nearly 10%

Bassett Furniture Inds. (NASDAQ: BSET) said profits jumped 9.9% in the quarter ended Aug. 26 on a 9.1% increase in sales.

Net sales totaled $114.3 million for the quarter, as sales from its wholesale, retail and Zenith Freight Lines divisions also reported healthy increases.

The company said wholesale sales were up 5.9% to $61.8 million, and gross margins improved in both the upholstery and wood operations as compared to the prior year, driven by increased operating efficiencies in the domestic operations along with greater leverage of fixed costs from higher sales levels.

Net sales for the 62 company-owned retail stores rose 10% to $67.4 million, a figure that included a comparable-store sales increase of 1.8%.

Revenues from Zenith climbed 8.4% to $24.9 million as revenues from Bassett and non-Bassett customers was higher.

Net income totaled $4.58 million or 43 cents per share, up from $4.17 million in the same quarter last year.

"All three of our operating segments posted revenue gains, led by our retail division's 10% increase,” said Robert Spilman Jr., chairman and CEO. “Although there were a number of unusual year over year comparisons, quarterly operating income grew by 7% on an adjusted basis despite increasing expense related to investments in our digital platform.”

He said two new Bassett Home Furnishings retail stores are slated to open in the current quarter, and six to eight additional locations are planned for 2018.

For the nine months ended Aug. 26, companywide sales were up 5% to $334.3 million. Nine-month net income totaled $13.28 million or $1.24 per share, up from $10.78 million or 99 cents per share in the first nine months of the previous fiscal year.

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