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LADD SECOND QUARTER EARNINGS UP 34 PERCENT

 HIGH POINT, N.C., July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- LADD Furniture, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: LADF) today reported that net earnings for the second quarter ended July 3, 1993 increased 34 percent from a year earlier, to $2.3 million this year from $1.6 million in 1992. Earnings per share rose 25 percent, to $.10 in this year's second quarter from $.08 a year earlier, reflecting a 12 percent increase in average shares outstanding in the 1993 quarter. Net sales for the second quarter rose 7 percent, to $133.8 million from $125.1 million a year earlier. For the first six months of 1993, net sales rose 11 percent, to $270.0 million from $243.1 million, while net earnings increased 69 percent, to $4.1 million this year from $2.4 million in 1992's first half. Per share earnings for the first half rose 50 percent, to $.18 this year from $.12 in 1992. The 1992 second quarter and first half operating results have been restated to reflect LADD's recent adoption of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) 109, "Accounting for Income Taxes."
 LADD chairman and chief executive officer Richard R. Allen said he was pleased with the earnings improvement achieved in this year's second quarter and first half. "However," he noted, "profit margins remain below expectations due to a continuation of highly competitive industry conditions, significantly higher lumber costs which have not been fully offset by product price increases, and selective downtime taken at a number of LADD's factories to control inventory levels."
 Allen noted that while second quarter net sales increased over year-earlier levels, the gain was smaller than that recorded in this year's first quarter. "This was primarily due to a slowdown in incoming order rates, particularly for LADD's higher-priced casegoods products," he said, adding, "Given current low interest rate levels, U.S. housing activity remains surprisingly sluggish. Ongoing uncertainties regarding President Clinton's federal budget and health care proposals have contributed to declining consumer confidence levels so far in 1993, with many consumers remaining cautious, particularly in regard to the purchase of more expensive durable goods." Allen concluded, "We remain optimistic on the long-term growth prospects for our industry but believe that, on a nearer term basis, demand may continue to be erratic."
 LADD senior vice president and chief financial officer William S. Creekmuir said long-term debt totaled $111 million at quarter-end, representing 39.2 percent of LADD's total capitalization, up from $91.5 million or 35.2 percent at the end of 1992. He noted that the debt increase funded higher net working capital levels during this year's first half, as well as substantially higher capital investments. "We have already spent $11.4 million on capital projects through this year's first half, compared to $9.5 million for all of 1992," Creekmuir said. "In addition, LADD's directors last month approved substantial additional capital projects for the 1993-1994 period. We remain committed to improving LADD's productivity and efficiency through aggressive investment in high return projects."
 Headquartered in High Point, NC, 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
 July 3, June 27,
 1993 1992(A)
 Net sales $ 133,840,000 125,062,000
 Earnings before interest
 and income taxes 5,339,000 4,533,000
 Interest expense 1,374,000 2,033,000
 Earnings before income taxes 3,965,000 2,500,000
 Income tax expense 1,615,000 930,000
 Net earnings $ 2,350,000 1,570,000
 Net earnings per common share $ 0.10 0.08
 Weighted average number of
 common shares outstanding 23,060,093 20,623,144
 Six Months Ended
 July 3, June 27,
 1993 1992(A)
 Net sales $ 269,968,000 243,053,000
 Earnings before interest
 and income taxes 9,689,000 8,277,000
 Interest expense 2,765,000 4,328,000
 Earnings before income taxes 6,924,000 3,949,000
 Income tax expense 2,824,000 1,526,000
 Net earnings $ 4,100,000 2,423,000
 Net earnings per common share $ 0.18 0.12
 Weighted average number of
 common shares outstanding 23,046,815 19,805,018
 (A) Both 1992 periods have been restated to reflect the adoption of SFAS 109, "Accounting for Income Taxes," effective Jan. 1, 1989.
 -0- 7/22/93
 /CONTACT: John J. Ong of LADD Furniture, 919-888-6353/
 (LADF)


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

MM -- CH012 -- 4603 07/22/93 13:35 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 22, 1993
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