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From Home Furnishing Business

Havertys Q3 Profits Tumble Due to Hurricane Disruptions

Havertys (NYSE: HVT) said third-quarter profits tumbled more than 23% to $5.98 million or 28 cents per share due largely to disruptions from Hurricane Irma.

The profit dip was not unexpected since the Atlanta-based retailer earlier announced that sales for the quarter fell 1.9% to $207.6 million. Comparable store sales were down 2.9%.

Clarence Smith, chairman, president and CEO, said 55 stores were closed at least one day in September due to the hurricane. The storm caused only minor property damage, but caused the company to halt deliveries, close two distribution centers and its corporate offices, Smith explained.

“The third quarter was a challenging period for Havertys as well as others in our industry,” he said. “We achieved increased profit margins, with pricing discipline, quality control, and operational focus, even as ocean freight rates increased. The lower sales results made it difficult to leverage fixed costs and discretionary expenses, which were well controlled.”

The average written ticket was up 0.5% and custom upholstery written business increased 2.6%.

During the quarter, Havertys began work on an expansion of its distribution center in Coppell, Texas and opened a replacement store in Columbia, S.C.

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, sales rose 0.7% to $604.9 million. Comparable store sales were down 0.6%.

Nine-month net income totaled $18.2 million or 84 cents per share. That compares with $17.5 million or 79 cents per share in the first nine months of 2016.

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