ATLANTA–Haverty’s Furniture Cos. today reported a 24 percent profit increase in the first quarter ended March 31. Earnings for the period were $1.03 million, compared with $831,000 in the same period a year ago.
That translated into earnings per diluted share of 5 cents, up a penny, or 25 percent, from the year-ago period.
The solid earnings growth was based on a decline in sales of slightly more than 3 percent, to $185.2 million. Comparabale-store sales, further, were down 6.3 percent.
In explaining the disparity between earnings growth and sales declines, Clarence H. Smith, president and chief executive officer, said the vertical manufacturer and retailer had decided to forego promotional discounting in favor of offering easier credit terms to customers.
In addition, he cited “heightened diligence over our inventories” which lowered the amount of damaged and closeout merchandise, and which “accounted for a third of the gross margin improvement.” Another third, he said, could be attributable to “our product mix and better pricing discipline.”