Bassett Furniture Industries, Inc. (BSET) on Thursday reported a narrower net loss for its first quarter benefited by sharply lower bad debt and other charges and higher margin, despite lower revenues.
First-quarter net loss was $596 thousand or $0.05 per share, compared to prior year's loss of $8.26 million or $0.72 per share. The latest quarter results included bad debt and other charges of $0.5 million, while prior year's charges were $8.5 million.
Consolidated sales decreased 5.1 percent to $60.97 million from $64.26 million a year ago due to strategic store closings during and subsequent to first quarter 2011.
Company-owned store delivered sales increased 5 percent, while wholesale sales declined 7.3 percent primarily due to fewer stores in the dedicated retail network in 2012, partially offset by increased shipments in the traditional and export channels.
Gross profit declined, while gross margin increased to 51.9 percent from 49.6 percent a year ago.
Robert Spilman Jr., president and chief executive officer, said, "The Company's underlying performance improved in the first quarter despite our overall decline in sales and three distinct items that adversely affected our financial results."
Looking ahead, the company said it will experience difficult consolidated top line comparisons until it can make up the volume lost from closing 13 underperforming stores in 2011.
"We believe that continued improvement in our store sales coupled with the execution of several growth initiatives currently underway will allow us to recapture the sales that were lost in last year's store closings and begin to generate sales growth as a result," Spilman added.
Bassett shares are currently trading at $9.40 in pre-market activity, down $0.02 or 0.21 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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