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LA-Z-BOY SALES UP 16 PERCENT; EARNINGS IMPROVE EVEN MORE

 MONROE, Mich., Aug. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- La-Z-Boy Chair Company's (NYSE: LZB; PSE) first quarter ended July 24, 1993, recorded sales up 16 percent and net income (before an accounting change) up 43 percent vs. last year's first quarter. Both sales and earnings were record highs for a first quarter.
 Details of Financial Results
 Sales grew to $162.1 million vs. $140.0 million while net income (before an accounting change) improved to $4.0 million or $0.22 per share vs. $2.8 million or $0.15 per share in last year's first quarter. Net income, including the effect of an accounting change, improved even more. LZB recognized a one-time noncash net income improvement of $3.4 million or $0.18 per share due to the implementation of SFAS 109 which changed the method of accounting for taxes. This resulted in net income after the accounting change to be $7.3 million, or $0.40 per share.
 Income from operations was $6.8 million vs. $5.0 million last year for an increase of 36 percent. Operating profit as a percent of sales improved to 4.2 percent vs. 3.6 percent last year.
 Chairman Comments
 Charles T. Knabusch, La-Z-Boy Chairman and President, credited the improvement in sales to an improved economy and continued success in selling and marketing new products as well as better distribution of existing products. He said, "The 16-percent improvement in sales was more than expected; especially since it was all internal growth. We have now had four consecutive quarters of double-digit percentage sales improvements over the prior year's quarter and we think this is due in large part to marketing steps we've taken the last few years. Four of our five divisions recorded very strong sales increases: U.S. Residential, Canadian Residential, Hammary and Kincaid."
 Regarding the improvement to operating profit margins from 3.6 percent to 4.3 percent, Knabusch said, "It was almost entirely due to the sales volume increases while keeping our costs to budget."
 First-quarter sales for La-Z-Boy are historically weaker than the other quarters of the year due to demand being weaker in the summer along with plant vacation shutdowns.
 Regarding future quarters, Knabusch was optimistic but does not expect each consecutive quarter to continue to have double-digit percentage increases in sales. "La-Z-Boy's sales goal is 10-percent growth or to do better than the rest of the industry. The most recent industry forecasts we've seen show shipments improving 6-8 percent in 1993 calendar year compared to 1992. I believe we can meet our sales goal for the full fiscal year. Last year, we had very strong third- and fourth-quarter sales so those will be tougher to compare to this year. Order backlogs as of today continue to be strong."
 LA-Z-BOY CHAIR COMPANY
 (Dollars in thousands, except per-share data)
 (Unaudited)
 First Quarter Ended July 24, 1993 July 25, 1992
 Sales $162,096 $140,003
 Income before cumulative effect
 of accounting change $3,974 $2,783
 Cumulative effect of accounting change $3,352 ---
 Net income $7,326 $2,783
 Earnings per common share:
 Income before cumulative effect
 of accounting change $0.22 $0.15
 Cumulative effect of accounting change $0.18 ---
 Net income per share $0.40 $0.15
 -0- 8/17/93
 /CONTACT: Jim Korsnack of La-Z-Boy Chair Company, 313-241-4208/
 (LZB)


CO: La-Z-Boy Chair Company ST: Michigan IN: SU: ERN

DD-JG -- DE022 -- 3754 08/17/93 17:20 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 17, 1993
Words:567
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