ST. LOUIS—Furniture Brands International reported a drastically reduced third-quarter loss of $2.1 million, down from the $23.5 million net loss from the 2009 third quarter.
Improvements in the furniture manufacturer’s expense structure helped its bottom line in the quarter. Selling, general and administrative expenses were reduced by 21 percent, while interest expense dropped 23 percent. Gross margin rose 171 basis points to 24.8 percent, which occurred partly because of Furniture Brands’ decision earlier this year to increase its stocks of raw materials and finished products to offset potential disruptions in its Asian supply chain, to meet consumer demand for recently introduced products and to support its commitments to dealers at last month’s High Point Market.
Net sales fell 7 percent to $272 million in the quarter, due to the company’s move of its annual manufacturing shutdown from the second quarter to the third quarter and its exit from two unprofitable lines in its ready-to-assemble offerings.