Producer Culp Turning Corner
July 3, 2006,
Steering toward a turnaround in a sweeping overhaul of operations after years of being pounded by the rising tide of low-cost off-shore imports, fabric producer Culp parlayed stronger margins, lower costs and big gains in its core upholstery business into a small, but nonetheless dramatic, fourth-quarter operating profit of $1.1 million, climbing back from a year-before loss of $3.7 million.
Starting to stabilize somewhat after a string of daunting double-digit losses, sales were off a more modest 4.7%, to $70.7 million from $74.2 million.
Driving much of the big improvement was a profit rebound in Culp's core upholstery fabrics business, which generated an operating profit of $1.1 million, reversing a $2.0 million loss in last year's closing quarter. Hacking away at costs while rebuilding upholstery margins, the business threw off a small profit during the fourth quarter despite a modest decline in sales, down 1.2% to $46.6 million from $47.2 million last year.
The smaller mattress ticking business remained solidly profitable, if not as much so as last year, throwing off an operating profit of $2.0 million, down 8.6% from $2.2 million.
Supporting the overall gain in operating profit, average gross margin recovered substantially, widening by 350 basis points, or 3.5 percentage points, to 10.7% from 7.2% a year ago. Gross margin dollars jumped up by 41.8%, to $7.6 million from $5.3 million.
Hacking away at overhead, Culp slashed expenses by 300 basis points, or 3.0 percentage points, to 9.2% of sales from 12.2% last year. That translated to a cash savings of $2.6 million, which fell straight to the bottom line.
|Qtr. 4/30 (x000)||2006||2005||% change|
a. Fourth-quarter results include $3.7 million in restructuring costs, down 54.3% from $8.1 million during the same period a year ago; interest income of $48,000, up 33.3% from $36,000 last year; miscellaneous expenses of $152,000, up 87.7% from $81,000 last year; and an income-tax benefit of $2.2 million, compared with $5.0 million a year ago.
b. 12-month results include restructuring costs of $10.3 million, down 1.0% from $10.4 million during 2005; interest income of $126,000, up 6.0% from $134,000 the prior year; miscellaneous expenses of $634,000, up 22.6% from $517,000 a year ago; and an income-tax benefit of $8.1 million, compared with $10.9 million the preceding year. 2005 results include a $5.1 million goodwill impairment charge.
|Oper. income (EBIT)||1,109||(3,700)||—|
|Per share (diluted)||(0.13)||(0.67)||—|
|Average gross margin||10.7%||7.2%||—|
|Oper. income (EBIT)||(5,086)||(9,200)||—|
|Per share (diluted)||(1.02)||(1.55)||—|
|Average gross margin||9.1%||9.1%||—|
First Quarter Segment Results
|Operating Income||2006||2005||% change|