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Upscale Move By Sound Advice Boosts 3rd-Qtr. Sales, Earnings

Continuing its financial bounce-back, Sound Advice reported record sales and earnings for its fiscal second quarter and indicated it was continuing to sharpen its focus on upscale home entertainment products by phasing down its involvement with low-margin cellular phones. For the same reason, the Dania Beach, Fla., chain was among the first A/V specialty retailers to drop PCs from its sales mix.

For the three-month period ending July 31 the retailer posted a net of $882,000, against a year-earlier loss of $231,000, as sales rose 23.3% to $41.3 million. Through the fiscal first half Sound Advice had earnings of $1.5 million, as opposed to a loss of $114,000 in the same period last year, while sales increased 19.7% to $80.4 million.

Sound Advice credited the strong quarterly performance to the combination of a 19.6% jump in same-store sales and the contribution from the two Sound Advice outlets and one Bang & Olufsen specialty store that opened in the fourth quarter of last year.

Sales were up in its three core areas — audio, video and mobile electronics — with speakers, big-screen color and DVD players the strongest performers. Home satellite systems, HDTVs and CD recorders also contributed to the gains the retailer said.

During the quarter Sound Advice opened its third B&O store, raising its count to 27. Chairman Peter Beshouri said the chain plans to relocate one Tampa store and open one more B&O location during the current fiscal year.