DANBURY, Conn. – Furniture giant Ethan Allen - number 27 on the FDMC 300 - reported its fiscal 2020 fourth-quarter sales were $91.6 million, down 50.2 percent from the same time last year.
Declines were apparent in both retail and wholesale through the three months ending June 30 - the period when the pandemic first took hold. Most of the declines took place during the first two months of the quarter.
The company reported a fourth-quarter loss of $12.1 million vs. a loss of $3.3 million last year. Driven by the 50.2 percent loss in sales and a decrease in gross margins, the company's operating losses shot up to $12.4 million from $4.6 million.
Losses were somewhat offset by improved expense management brought on by its COVID-19 action plan, which implemented expense reductions of 42.8 percent.
That plan involved temporarily laying off 70 percent of its global workforce. Furloughed employees received benefits for up to two months. Salaries of remaining employees were also reduced.
“Our action plan and the key steps taken helped us end with a strong cash position, which included generating $14 million in cash from operating activities over the last three months,” said CEO Farooq Kathwari in an earnings call. “For precautionary purposes, we drew $100 million from our credit facility in March 2020 and by June 30 had repaid $50 million, maintaining total cash of $72.3 million at June 30.”
Kathwari also reported that 56 percent of furloughed employees have been brought back.
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