GONZALEZ, La.-Despite a decline in sales, Crown Crafts was able to boost its bottom line in its fiscal third quarter to $1.6 million, up 3.6 percent from the third quarter of one year ago.
E. Randall Chestnut, chairman, president and CEO, said the healthier profit figure resulted from the company’s initiatives in both cost cutting and pricing. The effects of both strategies were evident in gross margin, which increased 210 basis points in the quarter (which ended on Dec. 30), to 26.3 percent. Crown Crafts’ statement on the third quarter did not break out operating expenses, but income before income-tax expense did rise 1.1 percent.
Third-quarter net sales took a 7.3 percent dive to $20.1 million. Chestnut said sales felt the impact of Crown Crafts’ previously announced discontinuance of an unprofitable private-label infant bedding program. In addition, the sluggish economy also played a part in the sales dropoff, he said.