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School Specialty Reports Third Quarter And Nine-Month Results

  • Supplies order trends improve following new catalog mailings
  • Cost reductions result in additional SG&A savings
  • Guidance confirmed
  • Revolving credit facility amended

GREENVILLE, Wis., Feb. 17, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- School Specialty (Nasdaq:SCHS) today reported fiscal 2011 third quarter and year-to-date financial results. Revenue for the quarter was $89.9 million, a decline of 12.9 percent compared with revenue of $103.1 million in last year's third quarter. Net loss in the seasonally slow third quarter was $20.2 million, a 9.2 percent increase compared with a loss of $18.5 million in the same period last year. The quarter's loss per share was $1.07 compared with a loss of $0.98 in fiscal 2010.

The company generated an additional $9.3 million in free cash flow in the third quarter, contributing to a year-to-date debt reduction of over $78 million.

"We're encouraged by our third quarter results as revenue trends improved over our first and second quarters," said President and Chief Executive Officer David Vander Zanden. "I'm particularly pleased with the early results of our latest catalog mailings and marketing efforts in Educational Resources. During January we saw a noticeable increase in supplies orders as a result of these catalog drops, and that's very positive since supplies represent about 45 percent of our total revenue. In addition to the enhanced catalogs and circulation, our associates improved our pricing programs, product offerings, e-commerce systems, and sales outreach efforts. We expect sales momentum in consumables to remain positive in the fourth quarter, and help generate improved financial results during the upcoming back-to-school season. Although our furniture business will continue to negatively impact overall group results, we are seeing our large-project revenues stabilize. 

"Third quarter revenue for the Accelerated Learning group was modestly below the same period last year due to softness in larger purchases of our reading products and the timing of orders, which we anticipate will benefit our fourth quarter," said Vander Zanden, noting the company's science business had a strong finish to the quarter. "The business remains well positioned for the coming year with a growing lineup of effective education solutions across our categories of reading, science, math, health and student development."

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