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Harvey’s Oct.-Jan. Sales Slip 2.5%

Lyndhurst, N.J. — Sales at Harvey Electronics declined 2.5 percent to $12.1 million during its fiscal fourth quarter, which ran from October 2004 through January 2005.

Same store sales slipped 2.6 percent during the period for the high-end New York metro-area A/V chain.

President/CEO Franklin Karp said the declines stemmed from slower January traffic and sales — which were partly attributable to extreme winter conditions — and from increased video competition due to continuing unit price compression. Unit sales of smaller LCD flat panel TVs were particularly impacted, he said.

Revenue during November and December was flat.

Despite the sales downturn, gross profit margins are projected to have risen 5 percent during the fourth quarter, and the company is expected to turn a profit in the first quarter of 2005, Karp noted. Informing that outlook is a three percent increase in its high-margin custom home installation business during the first quarter (including equipment sales and labor income), which raises the category’s share of all Harvey revenue to 59 percent from 56 percent last year. Audio also gained ground thanks to fourth quarter sales of high-margin accessories like cables, headphones, furniture, radio and portables.

Elsewhere, construction continues on Harvey’s 10th location, which is expected to open in Bridgewater, N.J. this spring.