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BRENDLE'S SECOND QUARTER RESULTS ENCOURAGING

 BRENDLE'S SECOND QUARTER RESULTS ENCOURAGING
 Elkin, N.C., Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Brendle's (NASDAQ-NMS: BRDL)


saw evidence that its strategic turnaround plan is beginning to take hold during the second quarter ended August 1, 1992.
 The southeastern retailer reported that its net earnings improved and that gross margins as a percent of sales (excluding two store closings) were up, both as compared to the second quarter last year. These are two central elements of its two-year plan to improve profitability and performance.
 After tax net losses for the second quarter were $3.9 million, or 49 cents a share, as compared to $4.1 million, or 51 cents per share, for the same quarter last year. Second quarter net sales and other income were reported at $52.4 million, compared to $59.9 million last year. Comparable stores revenues were $47.6 million, as compared to $53.7 million in fiscal 1992. Gross margins as a percent of sales (excluding inventory liquidations at two stores) were 29.2 percent, versus 27.9 in fiscal 1992. Pre-tax net losses for the second quarters of fiscal 1993 and 1992 were $3.9 million and $4.4 million, respectively. The company's tax loss carry-backs were exhausted in fiscal 1992, which resulted in the loss of any tax benefits for the first and second quarters of fiscal 1993.
 "We concentrated this quarter on refining our merchandise assortment to pursue higher margin categories such as jewelry, gifts and housewares," said Walter A. Jones, CEO, "while continuing our focus on cost management. The results exceeded our plan for the quarter. We're encouraged by these signals and that core parts of our turnaround strategy are meeting our expectations."
 Brendle's also pointed to its early third quarter payment of $3 million toward the term loan balance as a positive performance indicator of the second quarter.
 The closing of six stores since the second quarter of last year accounted for 7.4 percent of the total sales decrease of 12.6 percent for the period. Brendle's said the comparable stores sales decline resulted primarily from its planned reduction in advertising and promotion, continued softness in retail sales and the discontinuation of certain low-profit margin product lines.
 During the third and fourth quarters, the company will continue putting into place changes in stores, merchandise and services that will demonstrate to consumers its shift to a focused specialty retailer of gifts, jewelry, leisure-living products and home accessories. By the end of fiscal 1994, Brendle's plans to have completed its image and merchandise mix overhaul and restored company profitability.
 Brendle's Incorporated operates 51 stores in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Tennessee. Its shares are traded on the NASDAQ national market system under the symbol BRDL.
 -0- 8/26/92
 /CONTACT: (Media) Walter Jones, Brendle's, 919-526-6570/
 (BRDL) CO: Brendle's Incorporated ST: North Carolina IN: REA SU: ERN


CM -- CH013 -- 3624 08/26/92 16:33 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 26, 1992
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