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Tweeter's Q3 Sales Up As Income Drops

8/05/2002 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Faced with the challenges of current economic uncertainty, the Tweeter Home Entertainment Group reported an increase in revenue in its fiscal third quarter, but a decided decrease in income.

Total revenue for the third quarter climbed nearly 60 percent, hitting $175.3 million, up from $110 million in the year-ago period. Comp-store sales decreased 4.6 percent, excluding acquired chains.

Income from operations dropped to $678,000 in the third quarter, down from $3.8 million in the same three months in 2001. Net income for the three months was $103,000, down from the $2.5 million registered in the same quarter last year.

"As in the case in many businesses across America, the current environment is certainly challenging," said president/CEO Jeff Stone. But looking closer to home, Stone said Tweeter, "continues to focus on some of the core fundamentals of the business, like inventory management and distribution logistics."

Tweeter announced late in July a staff reduction of 240 positions, or about 6 percent of its workforce. The high-end specialty audio/video retailer expects the reductions to have a net benefit of about $5.5 million on an annualized basis, and said it will take a charge in the current quarter of about $1.5 million for reduction costs.

On the bright side, Tweeter increased gross margin in the third quarter, ended June 30, gaining 90 basis points, to 36.2 percent, up from 35.3 percent in the same three months in 2001. The rise is attributed to an increase in product margins as well as a reduction in inventory shrink.

For the nine months, total revenue increased to $613.1 million, up from $389.8 million year over year. Income from operations rose to $28.6 million, from $25 million in the same period the previous year. Net income remained about the same for both nine-month periods, rising to $16.2 million in the current nine months, from $16 million the previous year.

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