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LADD REPORTS STRONG FIRST QUARTER SALES AND EARNINGS GAINS

 HIGH POINT, N.C., April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- LADD Furniture Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: LADF) today reported that net sales for the first quarter ended April 3, 1993, increased 15 percent from a year earlier, rising to $136.1 million this year from $118.0 million in the first quarter of 1992. Net earnings for the quarter rose 105 percent in this year's first three months, to $1.7 million from $853,000 in the same period of 1992. First quarter net earnings per share, at $.08, were double the $.04 per share earned in 1992's first quarter. The 1992 first quarter earnings have been restated to reflect the recent adoption of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) 109, "Accounting for Income Taxes."
 LADD Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard R. Allen noted that the quarter's net sales were the second highest of any quarter in LADD's history and said net earnings reached their highest quarterly level since mid-1990. Commenting on these results, Allen said, "We are pleased with LADD's sales growth and continued profit improvement. However, profit margins were impacted by sharply higher hardwood lumber prices, production disruptions caused by last month's severe winter storm and continued promotional price discounting." In addition, Allen said that two new accounting pronouncements adopted in the quarter (SFAS 109 and SFAS 106, "Postretirement Benefits Other than Pensions") together reduced LADD's 1993 first quarter net earnings by approximately $383,000. Allen added, "LADD's operating companies are taking a number of actions to offset these cost increases, including selective price increases and productivity-enhancing capital investments."
 Commenting on the semi-annual International Home Furnishings market which concludes this week in High Point, Allen said, "LADD's new product offerings have been well-received. Response to our new home theatre offerings has been particularly strong. And, despite declines in consumer confidence indices in each of the last two months following President Clinton's budget and tax proposals, the attitudes of retailers visiting the LADD company showrooms was upbeat."
 LADD Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer William S. Creekmuir said the company's long-term debt at quarter-end represented 39.3 percent of LADD's total capitalization, up from 35.2 percent at the end of 1992, but well below the 46.4 percent debt-to-capital ratio at the end of 1992's first three months. Creekmuir noted that first quarter interest expense was down almost 40 percent from 1992's first quarter level. He added, "First quarter 1993 interest expense, at $1.4 million, was at its lowest dollar level since the second quarter of 1989."
 Headquartered in High Point, N.C., LADD is the fourth largest North American manufacturer of residential furniture and a leading supplier of contract furniture to the guest room, government and health care markets domestically and abroad. LADD sells its broad range of wood, upholstered and metal furniture products under the major brand names American Drew, American of Martinsville, Barclay, Brown Jordan, Clayton Marcus, Daystrom, Design Horizons, Fournier, Lea Industries and Pennsylvania House, and markets these products worldwide through LADD International. LADD also owns and operates two support companies, LEA Lumber & Plywood and LADD Transportation. LADD's stock is traded on the over-the-counter National Market System under the NASDAQ symbol LADF.
 LADD FURNITURE, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS
 (PRELIMINARY AND UNAUDITED)
 Quarter Ended
 April 3, 1993 March 28, 1992(A)
 Net sales $136,128,000 117,991,000
 Earnings before interest and
 income taxes 4,350,000 3,744,000
 Interest expense 1,391,000 2,295,000
 Earnings before income taxes 2,959,000 1,449,000
 Income tax expense 1,209,000 596,000
 Net earnings $ 1,750,000 853,000
 Net earnings per common share $ 0.08 0.04
 Weighted average number of common
 shares outstanding 23,033,538 18,986,892
 (A) 1992 first quarter has been restated to reflect the adoption of
 SFAS 109, "Accounting for Income Taxes," effective as of Jan. 1,
 1989.
 -0- 4/21/93
 /CONTACT: John J. Ong of LADD Furniture, 919-888-6353/
 (LADF


CO: LADD Furniture, Inc. ST: North Carolina IN: REA SU: ERN

CM -- CH005 -- 8576 04/21/93 09:53 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 21, 1993
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