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Conn’s Fis. Q3 Total Revenue Climbs 13.2%

12/02/2004 09:57:00 AM Eastern

Beaumont, Texas — Employing a strategy to grow profitably by increasing market share in its major appliances and consumer electronics core categories, regional retailer Conn’s boosted fiscal third-quarter total revenue 13.2 percent, hitting $132.9 million, up from $117.4 million in the year-ago period. Same-store sales rose 1.5 percent, due mainly to increased sales of computers, bedding and other new product categories.

The third-quarter total revenue increase included a net sales rise of $12.1 million, or 11.8 percent, and an increase from finance charges of $3.4 million, or 23.4 percent.

Conn’s enjoyed net income of $6.3 million in the third quarter, ended Oct. 31, up from a year-earlier $5.3 million. On a pro forma basis, last year’s third-quarter net was $5.6 million.

The solid performance was realized despite a six-week shortage in certain stainless steel appliances from a major vendor which impacted sales and caused “considerable disruption,” said Thomas J. Frank, chairman/CEO.

Because of Conn’s growth strategy, which includes enhancing its assortment of new product categories, such as digital electronics, portable electric appliances bedding and lawn and garden, “We continue to enjoy revenue increases, both from same-store sales increases and new stores, over those reported in the previous periods,” Frank said.

In a conference call, Frank said the company was “very, very pleased” with its performance in November, which culminated in its best three-day weekend ever following Thanksgiving. Total volume was up in the high teens for the Black Friday period, and the chain enjoyed double-digit increases across the board without sacrificing margins.

With the stainless-steel issue behind it, and no foreseeable product availability issues, Conn’s has sufficient inventory to hit its numbers for the season, he said.

Looking ahead, the company will likely add six to eight new stores next year in Dallas-Ft. Worth, along the Texas-Mexico border, and in the new market of Louisiana. — Additional reporting by Alan Wolf

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