MARTINSVILLE, VA - Hooker Furniture (Nasdaq:HOFT) Hooker Furniture sales rose 10% to $55.3 million in the second quarter. Net income is up more than 50% for the first six months, as sales rose to $111.6 million for the first half.
Sales increased 10.2%, or $5.1 million, and net income increased 14.4% or $213,000 compared to last year's second quarter - but slower than the torried 108% net income rise in the first quarter. In the first six months, sales were up 9.5%, and net income increased 52.9%, to $3.8 million.
Sales gains were driven by higher average selling prices in case goods and upholstery and increased unit volume and lower discounting in the upholstery segment, says CEO Paul B. Toms.
"The decreased demand at retail as we moved through the summer has made us a little less bullish than we were coming out of the first quarter," Toms said in announcing the results. "The housing market has slowed somewhat with rising mortgage rates and housing costs, and we believe our industry is tied closer to housing than any other metric."
Hooker Furniture has reached sales increases in the 9-10% range for three consecutive quarters, and has ventured into online sales, and new product categories, while investing $3.8 million in a comprehensive Enterprise Resource Planning system, Phase I of which went live on Labor Day 2012.
The Microsoft Dynamics AX Enterprise Resource Planning software Phase II added manufacturing management and product configuration capabilities for domestic upholstery operations. "This investment will improve our internal operations and provide a system to carry us forward for many years to come, helping us present a seamless, more efficient and single face to our customers," Toms said as the ERP came on line.
In another Hooker Furniture online effort, P3, retailers are set up in local e-marketing and e-commerce through an online “iStore.” In addition to the build-out of the iStore, the P3 program also provides ongoing training, service, financial and marketing support. After six months 30 retailers were using the P3 iStore. "Our goal is to have 75 to 100 retailers committed to the program by the end of calendar 2013," Toms said in the annual report.
Hooker also targeted retirement housing and senior living facilities with a new H Contract brand launched last year, and a Homeware online-only brand of modular, ready to asasemble furniture aimed at younger consumers. About $1 million was spent on start-up costs associated with the H Contract and Homeware furniture brands so far this year, an amount that could roughly double.
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