BASSETT, Va.-Bassett Furniture Industries posted a net loss of $596,000 in its fiscal first quarter, compared to a net loss of $8.3 million in the first quarter of last year.
The manufacturer/retailer accomplished this in spite of a net-sales drop of 5.1 percent, to $61 million. The key item for the quarter, which ended on Feb. 25, was a reduction in charges for bad debt and notes-receivable valuation of from $6.8 million in the first quarter of last year to $32,000 this year.
In terms of sales, most of the decline occurred in wholesale shipments, which fell 7.3 percent in the quarter. Sales at Bassett’s company-owned and licensee-owned stores rose 5 percent, including an increase of 6.5 percent in same-store sales.
Gross margin gained 150 basis points to finish the quarter at 51.9 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses increased 1.6 percent in dollars and 330 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 50.8 percent.
While noting that Bassett’s financials improved in the quarter, Robert Spilman, president and CEO, said the company is still seeking to recover lost sales from the closing of 13 underperforming stores in 2011. “We believe that continued improvement in our store sales, coupled with the execution of several growth initiatives currently under way, 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 said.