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LA-Z-BOY HAD STRONG FIRST HALF DESPITE SLUGGISH RETAIL FURNITURE MARKETPLACE

                     LA-Z-BOY HAD STRONG FIRST HALF
             DESPITE SLUGGISH RETAIL FURNITURE MARKETPLACE
    MONROE, Mich., Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- La-Z-Boy Chair Company (NYSE: LZB) net sales for the first half of its 1992 fiscal year, which ended Oct. 26, more than equaled the sales record set during last year's first half.  Net profits advanced 29 percent.  The board of directors declared a 7-percent increase in the quarterly cash dividend to 15 cents per share.
    Net sales during the second fiscal quarter came close to matching the prior year's second-quarter record.  Net profits for the 1992 fiscal second quarter slipped 5 percent.  The company cited recession-related factors.
    In the face of depressed sales throughout the furniture industry, La-Z-Boy has been able to outperform the industry by a significant margin.
    La-Z-Boy Chairman and President Charles T. Knabusch said that in order to stimulate retail sales, the company is introducing a new line of rocker recliner chairs "engineered to provide La-Z-Boy comfort and quality at a uniquely attractive price."
    SECOND QUARTER OF FISCAL 1992
    Second-quarter consolidated net sales were $165.3 million, within 1 percent of the prior fiscal year's second-quarter record of $166.8 million.  Operating profit was $14.4 million, down 7 percent, largely due to higher bad-debt expenses common to manufacturers of retail goods, higher advertising expenses relating to a major new advertising program, an unfavorable mix of product line sales, and higher breakeven points due to high capital expenditures in the past two years.  Net profit was $8.5 million, or $.47 per share, down 5 percent from the prior fiscal year's second-quarter net of $9.0 million, or $.50 per share.
    FIRST SIX MONTHS OF FISCAL 1992
    La-Z-Boy net sales reached their highest level for any fiscal first half.  Consolidated net sales for the first six months of fiscal 1992 were $295.3 million, a gain of 2 percent from sales of $290.2 million in the first half of fiscal 1991.  Operating profit increased 19 percent to $20.4 million.  Net profit jumped 29 percent to $11.4 million, or $.63 per share, from $8.8 million, or $.49 per share, in the same period of fiscal 1991.
    "When you look at the numbers, you can see that La-Z-Boy is operating more efficiently than ever.  This is because we have been modernizing our manufacturing facilities and streamlining our business practices at the right time.  This has become a survival-of-the-fittest kind of business," Knabusch said.
    "We are about to challenge conventional wisdom again," he said, "by introducing rocker recliner chairs that will retail for $299, a dramatically low price for La-Z-Boy quality.  This has required new engineering both for the product and for the manufacturing process.  The result is a true La-Z-Boy-quality product which we and our retail dealers can sell profitably, at a price that budget-conscious homemakers will find very attractive."
    The new La-Z-Rest(TM) rocker recliner chairs were previewed at last month's International Home Furnishings Market.  Initial quantities will become available to dealers next month.  Production is scheduled to accelerate over the next several months.
    La-Z-Boy is the nation's largest manufacturer of upholstered furniture, and the leading producer of reclining and motion chairs.  The company employs 8,000 people, has 23 manufacturing facilities in the United States and Canada, and operates through six divisions:  La-Z-Boy Residential, La-Z-Boy Contract, La-Z-Boy Canada, Hammary, Kincaid and RoseJohnson.
                    LA-Z-BOY CHAIR COMPANY EARNINGS
           (Dollars in thousands, except for per-share data)
                                          (Unaudited)
                                    Oct. 26,         Oct. 27
    Second Quarter Ended              1991             1990
    Net sales                       $165,251         $166,766
    Net income                        $8,490           $8,952
    Earnings per share                 $0.47            $0.50
                                          (Unaudited)
                                    Oct. 26,         Oct. 27
    Six Months Ended                  1991             1990
    Net sales                       $295,255         $290,213
    Net income                       $11,437           $8,848
    Earnings per share                 $0.63            $0.49
    -0-                            11/19/91
    /CONTACT:  Jim Korsnack or F.H. Jackson of La-Z-Boy Chair Company, 313-241-4208/
    (LZB) CO:  La-Z-Boy Chair Company ST:  Michigan IN:  REA SU:  ERN SM-JG -- DE032 -- 5136 11/19/91 17:14 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 19, 1991
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