DANBURY, CT - Residential furniture maker Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. blamed holiday timing and Hurricane Sandy as third quarter sales fell, dropping 4.4 percent to $168.1 million. Last year sales rose 8 percent during the same period.

Adverse timing of the Easter and Passover holidays - this year the holidays arrived early, falling within the period ended March 31 - worsened residential furniture sales, says CEO Farooq Kathwari. The quarter also began with lower backlogs due to Hurricane Sandy.

"We also had lower shipments to our retailer in China," Kathwari says of the furniture maker's venture into the fast growing Asian market. "While their sales of Ethan Allen products have grown nicely, they had accumulated inventory in anticipation of even higher sales and to support a greater number of design center openings."

Kathwari says sales continues to be the focus. "We have major marketing initiatives underway."

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