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Larry Thomas

10% same-store gain pushes Havertys to $3.3 million profit

ATLANTA - Aided by a 10% same-store sales increase, Top 100 retailer Havertys recorded a profit of $3.3 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

The quarterly profit, which equals 15 cents per share, was well above the profit of $118,000 or 1 cent per share the company posted in last year's third quarter.

Net sales totaled $162.7 million, an increase of 11.1% from $155.4 million in the same quarter last year.

"We are pleased with our earnings results and effective leverage of sales growth," said Clarence Smith, chairman and CEO. "The housing recovery is showing some signs of staying power and we will benefit as it rebounds. We are well positioned in excellent markets and continue to strengthen our engagement with the middle to upper-middle income customer."

Smith noted that gross margins were 0.7 percentage points above last year's third quarter, while selling, general and administrative costs (as a percent of sales) fell 2.5 percentage points.

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, net sales totaled $487.8 million, an increase of 7.8% from $452.6 million in the first nine months of 2011.

Nine-month net income totaled $8.13 million or 36 cents per share. That reversed a net loss of $1.49 million or 7 cents per share in the first nine months of last year.

Havertys didn't provide sales or earnings projections for the fourth quarter or the full year, but said written business is up 16.7% for the fourth quarter to date. In October of last year, written business was down 1.7%, the retailer said.

During the fourth quarter, the company will open a new store in the Dallas-Fort Worth market and is replacing one store in the Atlanta market.

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