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LA-Z-BOY PROFITS UP 10 PERCENT IN FISCAL YEAR-TO-DATE; RECESSION TRIMS THIRD-QUARTER RESULTS

 LA-Z-BOY PROFITS UP 10 PERCENT IN FISCAL YEAR-TO-DATE;
 RECESSION TRIMS THIRD-QUARTER RESULTS
 MONROE, Mich., Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Net profits for La-Z-Boy Chair Company (NYSE: LZB), America's largest manufacturer of upholstered furniture, rose 10 percent during the first three quarters of the company's 1992 fiscal year. Net sales paced those of the prior year. Despite a difficult sales winter for consumer products generally and for the furniture industry in particular, La-Z-Boy sales for the third fiscal quarter came close to matching the record level set in the same quarter of fiscal 1991. Profits for the 1992 quarter were lower.
 Chairman Charles T. Knabusch said that even if the economy remains sluggish, he expects La-Z-Boy to complete its 1992 fiscal year "in good shape." He said an improvement in retail sales could make it possible for La-Z-Boy to reach new highs in sales for the year.
 "Lower interest rates and the reported upturn in home sales are positive indicators for our industry," Knabusch said, noting that when home sales increase, sales of furniture and other consumer durables usually start to increase within a few months. "We enter the final fiscal quarter with strong backlogs," he said.
 First nine months. For the nine months ended Jan. 25, La-Z-Boy consolidated net sales rose to $444.1 million from $442.1 million in the comparable period of fiscal 1991. Net income increased 10 percent to $16.5 million, or $.91 per share, compared to $14.9 million, or $.83 per share. Knabusch attributed the improvement to more efficient operations resulting in large measure from a major plant modernization program which was completed in fiscal 1991.
 Fiscal third quarter. Consolidated net sales for the 1992 fiscal third quarter ended Jan. 25 were $148.9 million, 2 percent below record 1991 third-quarter sales of $151.9 million. Net profits were $5.0 million, or $.28 per share, down 17 percent from $6.1 million, or $.34 per share.
 Occasional furniture, reclining sofas and the all-new La-Z-Rest(TM) chairs were particularly strong sellers. At the end of January, La-Z-Boy launched a direct mail advertising campaign aimed specifically at new homeowners. This coincided with the upturn in new and existing home sales. The company expanded its access to West Coast dealers by exhibiting at the home furnishings Winter Market, and opened a new furniture showroom in the San Francisco Mart.
 When will home furnishings industry sales improve? Noting that the current recession is the longest one since the 1930s, many analysts look for an upturn in the economy to become evident by summer. Meanwhile, "La-Z-Boy is riding the stormy economic seas with relative ease," a Value Line analyst reported last fall.
 Additionally, La-Z-Boy has moved into an elite 20 percent of the nation's "most admired corporations" in a Fortune Magazine poll which ranked attributes such as quality of management, products and service, financial soundness and long-term investment value.
 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 U.S. 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
 (Dollars in thousands, except for per-share data)
 (Unaudited)
 Jan. 25, Jan. 26,
 Third Quarter Ended 1992 1991
 Net sales $148,857 $151,884
 Net income $5,040 $6,066
 Earnings per share $0.28 $0.34
 (Unaudited)
 Jan. 25, Jan. 26,
 Nine Months Ended 1992 1991
 Net sales $444,112 $442,097
 Net income $16,477 $14,914
 Earnings per share $0.91 $0.83
 -0- 2/19/92
 /CONTACT: F.H. Jackson, vice president, finance, La-Z-Boy Chair Company, 313-241-4208/
 (LZB) CO: La-Z-Boy Chair Company ST: Michigan IN: REA SU: ERN


JG-KK -- DE026 -- 0663 02/19/92 17:16 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 19, 1992
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