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Hooker: Casegoods Bolsters Bottom Line

Hooker FurnitureMARTINSVILLE, Va.-Hooker Furniture posted a gain of 51.4 percent in its fiscal third-quarter net income, which totaled $3.2 million.

Net sales in the quarter, which ended on Nov. 2, reached $63.2 million, up 6.8 percent. The increase was fueled by higher average selling prices, which offset a relatively flat unit volume performance.

Casegoods turned in a particularly good quarter, according to Paul Toms, Hooker's chairman and CEO. "A number of factors are contributing to sales momentum in casegoods," Toms said, "including the strength of our product line, the shipment of several top-selling April market introductions during the quarter, a good inventory position on best sellers, some national digital advertising campaigns during the year and overall improvement in the casegoods market as housing activity increases."

Also bolstering the bottom line, gross margin jumped 238 basis points to 25.4 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses rose 6.8 percent in dollars but finished relatively flat as a percentage of sales, at 17.7 percent.

Looking ahead, Toms said Hooker is optimistic about the fourth quarter. "It's very encouraging to enter the historically strong fourth quarter with this kind of top- and bottom-line momentum," he said. He noted that the month of November produced a 10 percent rise in consolidated incoming orders.

"In the larger economic outlook, it's hard to find many negatives, as housing steadily improves, consumer confidence is up and the stock market is at an all-time high," he said. "Therefore, we expect and are planning for stronger business in the near term."