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From Home Furnishing Business

Williams-Sonoma Q3 Profits Up 2.8%; Sees Growth Online and in Stores

Retailer Williams-Sonoma (NYSE: WSM), parent company of Pottery Barn, West Elm and several other retail formats, said third-quarter earnings edged up 2.8% to $71.3 million or 84 cents per share as its e-commerce and brick-and-mortar businesses continued to grow.

Total revenues for the quarter ended Oct. 29 rose 4.3% to $1.299 billion, including comparable brand growth of 3.3%. The retailer said hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico cost the company about $7 million in revenues.

E-commerce revenues accounted for 53.1% of all revenues, while brick-and-mortar stores generated 46.9% of the total.

“Our third quarter results demonstrate the effectiveness of our strategic priorities to deliver value, quality and excellent customer service,” said Laura Alber, president and CEO. “During the quarter, strong execution against our product and digital initiatives drove new customer acquisition and top-line expansion in a competitive and dynamic retail environment. Importantly, our demand during the quarter exceeded or was at least equal to net revenues across all of our brands – most notably in Pottery Barn and PBteen – which is a strong indication of the health of our business.”

“All of our initiatives are underpinned by our vision to create a high-touch customer service platform that is truly transformational for the home furnishings industry,” she continued.

Separately, Williams-Sonoma announced it had signed a definitive agreement to purchase Outward, a leading 3-D imaging and augmented reality platform for the home furnishings and décor industry, for $112 million in cash.

This strategic acquisition will enable Williams-Sonoma to enhance and extend its high-touch customer service platform, and to develop technologies with Outward that further transform the shopping experience for home furnishings, the retailer said.

For the nine months ended Oct. 29, earnings were up 1.9% to $163.8 million or $1.89 per share. Nine-month revenues were up 3.1% to $3.612 billion.

The company also tweaked its revenue and earnings projections for the fiscal year, which ends in late January.

Revenues are now forecast at $5.225 billion to $5.290 billion, compared with an August forecast of $5.165 billion to $5.265 billion, while adjusted earnings per share are now projected at $3.45 to $3.60. That compares with the August forecast of $3.45 to $3.65.

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