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Published: Wednesday, 6/18/2014 - Updated: 1 month ago

LA-Z-BOY

Furniture maker’s profits up 19% over last year

New stores accounting for much of its growth

BY TYREL LINKHORN
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

MONROE — La-Z-Boy Inc. said Tuesday it had profits of $55.1 million, or $1.02 per share, in fiscal 2014, up 19 percent from the 2013 fiscal year.

The Michigan-based furniture manufacturer famous for its namesake recliner said overall sales grew 7 percent to $1.4 billion. The company has continuing improvement in La-Z-Boy’s retail segment to thank. Segment sales grew by 13 percent in the fiscal year, while operating income rose from $4.1 million to $11.1 million. Much of that was from new stores, though same-store sales were also strong.

The company said same-store sales at its La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries grew by 6 percent in the 2014 fiscal year, after growing by 13 percent in the 2013 fiscal year.

The company has embarked on an effort to update its older format La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries stores to a new format, which tends to be higher-performing. The company aims to expand its La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries to 400 from the current 315.

La-Z-Boy also has a goal of expanding its branded distribution footprint from 885 locations in North America to more than 1,000.

“Overall, for the year, we are pleased with our progress in the retail segment,” chief executive officer Kurt Darrow said in a statement. “We were profitable each quarter and more than doubled our operating income. As we move forward, we believe we will strengthen our performance in the segment and as we increase the size of our company-owned retail footprint, we will benefit from the blended wholesale and retail margin associated with our integrated retail platform.”

For the fourth quarter, the company said sales grew slightly, though Mr. Darrow said Tuesday he believes sales continued to be tempered by the poor weather much of the United States experienced this winter. The company’‍s fiscal year ended April 27.

In spite of that, La-Z-Boy’s sales still increased to $353 million from $345.8 million last year. Fourth-quarter profits were up about 3 percent to $17.5 million.

La-Z-Boy’‍s stock rose more than 5 percent Tuesday ahead of the earnings announcement to close the day at $24.84. Shares fell 10 percent to $22.20 in after-hours trading.

Contact Tyrel Linkhorn at tlinkhorn@theblade.com or 419-724-6134 or on Twitter @BladeAutoWriter.



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