GONZALEZ, La.-Despite declines in sales, Crown Crafts was able to record significant increases in net income for both its fourth quarter and its fiscal year.
Fourth-quarter net rose 19 percent to $1.9 million, while net income for the fiscal year jumped 17 percent to $5 million. E. Randall Chestnut, chairman, president and CEO, said Crown Crafts posted strong bottom-line improvements through “aggressively managing our business.” The company was able to partly offset increases in cotton prices and labor costs by passing along some price increases, redesigning several products to reduce its dependency on cotton, and transitioning away from an unprofitable private-label bedding program.
While hurting sales somewhat, these moves helped boost the company’s gross margin by 220 basis points in the fourth quarter, to 23.3 percent. Net sales, meanwhile, fell 8.5 percent in the quarter to $24.8 million. For the whole fiscal year, net sales finished 5.2 percent down at $85.3 million.
Chestnut added that Crown Crafts was able to push up sales in company-branded product lines. In addition, the company posted “meaningful sales” in distribution channels such as pet bedding and the dollar-store segment “that did not exist for us just four years ago,” he said.