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From Home Furnishing Business

Brisk Upholstery, Mattress Fabric Sales Drive Culp Top Line

Fabric producer Culp Inc. (NYSE: CULP) said sales rose 7.1% to $80.7 million in its second fiscal quarter, but net income fell more than 11% due largely to expenses from a proposed acquisition that never was completed.

The company said mattress fabric sales were up 6.8% in the quarter ended Oct. 29, while upholstery fabric sales rose 7.7%.

Net income totaled $3.98 million or 32 cents per share. In the same quarter a year ago, the totals were $4.48 million or 36 cents per share.

“Overall, our second quarter sales were higher than expected, and we are pleased with the solid top line performance for both upholstery fabrics and mattress fabrics,” said Frank Saxon, president and CEO. “We have continued to drive product innovation and creativity and leverage the strength of our efficient global manufacturing platform.”

During the quarter, the mattress fabrics segment completed installation of new equipment at its knitting plant in North Carolina, and also began operations at a new North Carolina location for mattress cover production.  In addition, the company launched a joint venture for mattress cover production in Haiti.

The company said the upholstery segment was hampered by higher-than-expected freight costs from China, but that was offset by brisk sales of its LiveSmart line of performance fabrics.

“We had an excellent showing at the recent October furniture market, and our creative designs and innovative products continue to distinguish the Culp brand,” said Boyd Chumbley, president of the upholstery fabric division. “We are especially pleased with the favorable customer response to LiveSmart, as many manufacturers are featuring this fabric in their showrooms. We have recently launched a new website specifically for this innovative product line along with a more aggressive marketing campaign, and we remain optimistic about the sales opportunities for Culp.”

For the first six months of its fiscal year, net sales were up 2.7% to $160.2 million. Mattress fabric sales rose 1% and upholstery fabric sales were up 5.4% during that period.

Six-month net income totaled $8.96 million or 71 cents per share. That was down from $9.79 million or 78 cents per share in the first half of the previous fiscal year.

Culp also announced it is raising its quarterly cash dividend by 1 cent to 9 cents per share. The new dividend will be paid Jan. 16 to stockholders of record Jan. 2.







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