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From Home Furnishing Business

Havertys Sales, Comps Decline in Q4

Atlanta-based Havertys (NYSE: HVT) said it had a disappointing fourth quarter, with net sales falling 2.6% and comparable-store sales down 3.5%.

In a preliminary financial report released Monday, the retailer said sales for the most recent quarter totaled $215 million, down from $220.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.

For the 2017 calendar year, sales fell 0.2% to $819.9 million and comparable-store sales were off 1.3%.

Total written sales for the fourth quarter of 2017, which includes merchandise sold but not delivered, were up 0.3%. Written comparable-store sales decreased 0.7% over the same period last year.

“The fourth quarter sales were disappointing,” said Clarence Smith, chairman, president and CEO. “There was a heavy concentration of traffic and sales during the traditional shopping period around Thanksgiving and much softer business before and afterwards. We did see an increase in our conversion rate on traffic and the average ticket increased 2.2% over last year’s quarter.”

The retailer also said the new tax bill that was signed into law Dec. 22 will improve its bottom line, but will require a one-time write-down of its deferred tax assets. The company said a charge of $3.5 million to $4 million will be recorded as an additional income tax expense on its fourth-quarter financial statement.

Havertys said it plans to release complete financial results for the fourth quarter and 2017 calendar year on Feb. 20.

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