MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Hooker Furniture reported consolidated net sales of $577.2 million and net income of $25.3 million for its fiscal year that ended January 29, 2017, according to Globe Newswire.

This is the fourth quarter to include consolidated financial results reflecting Hooker’s acquisition of the business of Home Meridian International. Net sales in fiscal 2017 increased $330.2 million, compared to the prior year.

“Our Hooker Casegoods, Upholstery and Home Meridian segments delivered their strongest performance of the year in the fourth quarter, enabling us to end the year with positive momentum and bring our full-year results in line with internal expectations,” said Paul B. Toms Jr., chairman and chief executive officer. “Outstanding fourth quarter results were driven by Home Meridian’s significant backlog at the end of the third quarter, resulting in record shipments in the fourth quarter, along with an excellent fall furniture market and post-market orders at Hooker legacy brands,” he continued.

The revenue increase, along with favorable ocean freight costs, low inflation and ongoing cost control efforts across the enterprise, generated record operating income during the quarter. The increase was driven primarily by the addition of Home Meridian’s sales volume as a result of the acquisition.

 “Following the strongest fall furniture market for Hooker casegoods in five years, incoming orders exceeded prior-year levels during the fourth quarter, providing a positive shift from the first three quarters,” Toms said. “We were able to convert the strong market and an elevated backlog to the best shipping quarter of the year for Hooker casegoods.”

“Home Meridian had a very strong fourth quarter,” said George Revington, chief operating officer for Hooker Furniture. “Sales were up 23 percent over our pre-acquisition record quarter from the prior year. For the entire year, sales were up 6 percent.”

“Our Hooker Upholstery imported upholstery line had the strongest market in its history, and expanded into the fashion upholstered bed category,” said Toms. “During the quarter, they also made progress in getting back in stock on bestsellers. For the year, Upholstery segment sales decreased modestly by 2.5 percent. The decrease was driven primarily by a quality-related issue that negatively impacted sales at Hooker Upholstery during the second and third quarters that has now been resolved, and a net sales decrease at Sam Moore primarily due to labor capacity challenges and exiting unprofitable relationships in the prior year.”

For the future, “We experienced a distinct uptick at retail late in the fall, after the uncertainty of the election was past. Consumers seem to have moved off the sidelines and are more willing to commit to larger-ticket purchases. The macroeconomic environment, which we believe is a strong indicator for furniture sales, is generally positive. Sales of existing and new homes are trending positively, and new home construction is robust. Stock market gains have kept consumer confidence at generally high levels, wages are trending up, employment levels are solid and consumer spending is solid. Based on the improvements we’ve seen in our business over the last two quarters, we are fairly bullish about the foreseeable future,” said Toms. See http://www.hookerfurniture.com.

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