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FORT WORTH, Texas, May 13, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Tandy Leather Factory, Inc. (Nasdaq:TLF) today reported financial results for the first quarter of 2013. Net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 was $1.59 million, up minimally from net income in the first quarter of 2012 of $1.57 million. Fully-diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $0.16 in the current quarter, compared to $0.15 in last year's first quarter, up 7%. Total sales for the first quarter were $19.2 million, an increase of 6% compared to 2012's first quarter sales of $18.2 million.
Sales from the Retail Leathercraft division, consisting of the Tandy Leather store chain, increased $1.3 million in the first quarter, up 12% from last year's first quarter sales. The store chain consisted of seventy-eight stores as of March 31, 2013, with one new store added since March 31, 2012. First quarter sales for the Wholesale Leathercraft division decreased $423,000, or 6% from the same quarter last year. Inside the Wholesale Leathercraft division, the stores' sales were up 2% while National Account sales were down 65%. International Leathercraft, consisting of stores in the United Kingdom, Australia and Spain, added sales of $948,000 for the quarter, a 28% increase over last year's first quarter sales of $742,000.
Consolidated gross profit margin decreased slightly from 62.5% in the first quarter of 2012 to 62.0% in the first quarter of 2013. Operating expenses increased $499,000 in the first quarter of 2013 to $9.3 million compared to $8.8 million in the first quarter of 2012, decreasing slightly as a percentage of sales from 48.5% in 2012 to 48.4% in 2013. Compared to the first quarter of 2012, advertising and marketing expenses were the primary contributor to the operating expense increase, followed by employee compensation.
Jon Thompson, Chief Executive Officer and President, commented, "We are generally pleased with our first quarter results as sales were strong and earnings, while not significantly higher, were solid. We are investing heavily in advertising and marketing for our international stores in order to spur faster sales growth and it appears to be working. We are very pleased with the expansion in the customer bases for those stores. The two newest stores are not contributing to earnings yet, but the Australia store is very close to breakeven. We have more work to do to get the Spain store's sales up to a level to make it profitable, but I am confident that we will get it there."