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Culp doubles loss

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Hurt by one less week of sales and thinning margins, decorative fabrics producer Culp Inc. recorded a first fiscal quarter loss of $1.1 million, more than twice the size of a year-before deficit of $411,000.

Due to the shorter fiscal quarter this year, overall sales dropped 7.9 percent, to $67.8 million from $73.7 million last year. But leveling out the playing field, said CEO Robert Culp III, the top-line shortfall was less severe.Sales of upholstery fabrics declined 9.8 percent, to $41.9 million from $46.5 million last year. Notably hard hit was the decorative-fabrics business, where sales tumbled 19.2 percent, to $23.9 million from $29.6 million a year ago. On the plus side, sales of Culp velvets and prints increased 6.8 percent, to $18 million from $16.8 million last year.But losses in the upholstery-fabrics operation increased 52.4 percent, to $2.6 million from $1.7 million last year.

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