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WestPoint Loss Flat in 3Q

WestPoint International’s sales posted another decline in the third quarter, but cuts in expenses helped hold operating loss at $19 million — flat over last year’s 3Q.

Icahn Enterprises, which owns a majority stake in the company, reported earlier this month that WestPoint’s sales for the quarter ended Sept. 30 fell 13% to $94 million from $108 million in the year-ago period.

Gross margin percentage rose to 8.5% from 7.4% in last year’s 3Q.

The corporate parent’s executives had little to say about the business during its conference call with analysts beyond noting the weak environment for home textiles and the fact that WestPoint carried even more impairment charges in the recent quarter than it had last year. The $6 million in impairment charges for the quarter was double last year’s $3 million.

Restructuring charges declined to $3 million from $5 million.

Without the restructuring and impairment charges, the operating loss would have been $10 million compared to $11 million last year.

For the first nine months of the year, net loss narrowed to $53 million from $67 million. Gross margin percentage rose improved to 8.3% from 7.5%.

Sales fell 17% to $264 million from $318 million.

Asked whether Icahn Enterprises might sell WestPoint specifically, or any other of its segments, vice president and principal executive officer Keith Meister said the company has no plans to do so at this time.

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