BASSETT, Va. (AP) ¿ Furniture maker Bassett Furniture Industries Inc. said Thursday it lost $3.4 million in its fiscal third quarter, widening a year-earlier loss, as slumping demand pinched results.

Bassett's loss amounted to 30 cents per share for the three months ended Aug. 29 and compares with a loss of $2.7 million, or 23 cents per share, a year earlier.

The results included unusual pretax charges of $1.8 million related to lease exit costs for two closed retail locations. The year-earlier period included a $200,000 impairment charge associated with the write-off of leasehold improvements for a closed store and a $600,000 charge tied to lease exit costs for a closed store.

Excluding those charges, the losses would have been $1.7 million in the latest quarter and $1.8 million in the year-earlier period.

Sales slid 18 percent to $57.7 million from $70.2 million. That included a 30 percent drop in its wholesale segment.

"We continued to experience weak order demand during the June through August quarter, historically our slowest period of the year," Robert H. Spilman Jr., the company's president and chief executive, said in a statement.

"Recognizing that the current environment will likely persist for some time, we are focused on cash management and improving our wholesale and retail operations," he said.

Shares of Bassett dropped 14 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $4.29 in after-hours trading. They rose 13 cents, or 3 percent, to close at $4.43 in the regular session.
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