Crown Crafts profits take a hit in 4Q

GONZALES, La. — With sales still trending down as customers tweak their stockpiles in a tricky retail environment, fourth fiscal quarter profits at Crown Crafts Inc. fell by 24.8 percent, to $1.6 million from $2.1 million last year.

Sales in the quarter ended March 28 slipped by 6.5 percent, to $25.0 million from $26.8 million last year. While sales are still soft, the top-line picture improved considerably from earlier in the year, most notably during the second fiscal quarter, when sales tumbled by 22.5 percent.

And while earnings were off by roughly a fourth during the closing quarter, investors were cheered as profits for all of last year climbed by 24.8 percent, to $3.1 million from $2.5 million, as the company shucked off a $1.8 million restructuring charge that dogged the bottom line the year before.

CEO E. Randall Chestnut said while the year "was disappointing in terms of sales, the company is very proud of its many accomplishments. We are pleased to report continuing profitability, improved sourcing and a stronger balance sheet."

The company said that over the past 12 months the shortfall, mostly during the second quarter, stemmed from "changes in buying patterns by several customers, some of whom lowered on-hand inventory levels in response to the sluggish economy." Comparisons with the prior year were somewhat skewed, the company said, because during 2003, it shipped "several new product placements to key customers, which were not repeated at the same levels in the current year."

Home & Textiles Today Staff | News & Commentary

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