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Furniture Brands International CEO Discusses Q2 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

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Now, I’d like to move on to our financial results.

As reported in the last evening’s financial results press release, total sales were $296.2 million in the second quarter, an increase of 2.3% over the same period last year. On a sequential basis, sales in the second quarter were almost flat versus the first quarter of 2011.

Gross margin for the quarter was 24.8%, down compared to 25.7% last year. The decrease in gross margin on a year-over-year basis was driven largely by higher material costs relative to sales price and inventory write-downs. We continue to work on our ongoing productivity and price initiatives to help mitigate the impact of the cost pressures that we are facing.

SG&A expenses totaled $79.3 million for the second quarter, compared to $75.2 million last year and down slightly from the $79.6 million level we reported in the first quarter of 2010. On a year-over-year basis the increase in SG&A was primarily due to higher advertising expense and favorable settlements in 2010 related to certain international tax and trade compliance matters. We expect SG&A for the third quarter of fiscal 2011 to be slightly above the just reported second quarter levels and we will update you about our expectation for fiscal fourth quarter SG&A levels on our third quarter earnings conference call.

On the retail side of our business, the 45 Thomasville stores that we have operated for more than 15 months showed a same-store sales increase of 8% this quarter. Even at this quarter, we were up against a strong 21% same-store sales comp in the second quarter of 2010. We are pleased with Thomasville’s same-stores sales performance. This represents the sixth straight quarter of same-store sales growth.

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