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From Home Furnishing Business

Hurricanes Crimp Sales, Profits at Ethan Allen

Store closings and production disruptions due to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hurt the top and bottom lines at Ethan Allen (NYSE: ETH) in the quarter ended Sept. 30, as the vertically integrated company’s profits tumbled more than 35% to $7.42 million or 27 cents per share.

Sales fell 6.2% to $181.3 million, although total written orders for the retail division, which include merchandise sold but not delivered, were up 1.7%.

The company said the hurricanes disrupted several key markets. Fifteen retail stores in Florida, including 11 company-operated locations, plus five company-operated stores in the coastal Carolinas were affected by Hurricane Irma. And 11 stores in Texas, including five independently operated locations in the Houston market, were impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

The store closings ranged from two days to more than a week, the company said.

In addition, Hurricane Harvey disrupted the company`s wholesale logistics, as the temporary shutdown of railway shipping through Houston impacted shipments from its upholstery plant in Mexico, and ocean freight arrivals were delayed into the Port of Houston.

Farooq Kathwari, chairman, president and CEO, said he remains optimistic about the balance of the year, noting that order backlogs were up 11.6% for the retail division and 61.6% for the wholesale division.

As of Sept. 30, Ethan Allen had 144 company-owned and 48 independent retail stores in the United States. Outside the U.S. there are 108 independent and six company-owned stores.

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