Tandy Leather Factory, Inc. (AMEX: TLF) today reported financial results for the first quarter of 2010. Net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2010 was $948,000, up from net income of $698,000 in the first quarter of 2009, an increase of 36%. Fully-diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $0.09 in the current quarter, compared to $0.06 in last year’s first quarter. Total sales for the first quarter were $14.6 million, an increase of 10.7% compared to 2009’s first quarter sales of $13.2 million.

Sales from the Retail Leathercraft division, consisting of the Tandy Leather retail store chain, increased $1 million in the first quarter, up 15% from last year's first quarter sales. The store chain consisted of seventy-six stores as of March 31, 2010, compared to seventy-four retail stores a year ago. First quarter sales for the Wholesale Leathercraft division, consisting of the Leather Factory wholesale stores and the National Account group, increased $301,000, or 5% from the same quarter last year. International Leathercraft, consisting of one store located in the United Kingdom, added sales of $384,000 for the quarter, a 31% increase over last year’s first quarter sales of $293,000.

Consolidated gross profit margin increased from 58.7% in the first quarter of 2009 to 61.5% in the first quarter of 2010, a significant improvement. Operating expenses increased $697,000 in the first quarter of 2010 to $7.4 million compared to $6.8 million in the first quarter of 2009, decreasing slightly as a percentage of revenue from 51.2% in 2009 to 51.0% in 2010.

Jon Thompson, Chief Executive Officer and President, commented, “Overall, it was a good quarter. I am especially pleased with the improvement in our gross profit margin. All three divisions achieved sales gains and were solidly profitable. Our goal as we move through the year is to continue our solid sales growth and keep our expenses under control.”