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Residential carpet sales down 12.1% at Dixie Group
01
Nov '08
The Dixie Group, Inc. reported financial results for the third quarter and nine months ended September 27, 2008.

For the third quarter, the Company reported a loss from continuing operations of $732,000, or $0.06 per diluted share, compared with income from continuing operations of $2,239,000, or $0.17 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2007.

Sales for the third quarter of 2008 were $72,917,000, down 11% from sales of $82,385,000 in the year-earlier quarter. For the nine months ended September 27, 2008, income from continuing operations was $633,000, or $0.05 per diluted share, compared with income from continuing operations of $5,032,000, or $0.39 per diluted share, for the same period in 2007. Sales for the year-to-date period in 2008 were $220,794,000, down 8% from $241,278,000 reported in the prior-year period.

Commenting on the results, Daniel K. Frierson, chairman and chief executive officer, said, "The third quarter began with another announcement of significantly higher raw material costs. We increased our selling prices to reflect the June and July raw material price increases; however, the higher selling prices were not fully implemented until the fourth quarter of this year."

"We also were faced with unit volume decreases that led to lower operating efficiencies and higher unabsorbed fixed costs. Our carpet sales dollars declined 10.7% in the third quarter of this year, compared with the third quarter of the prior year, with residential carpet sales down 12.1% and commercial carpet sales down 8.5%."

In response to the difficult economic environment, we developed and began implementing a plan to consolidate certain of our operations to better utilize our facilities and reduce costs. The plan consolidates our tufting operations in North Georgia into our Atmore, Alabama, facility and our tufting, dyeing and finishing operations in Santa Ana, California, into one facility.

"We are also making organizational changes to reduce staff and expenses, where such changes will not compromise our ability to grow or affect our leadership position in high-end markets. The facility consolidations and organizational changes should reduce total employment by approximately 6% on top of the 9% staffing reduction that took place during the second quarter.

"The aggregate cost to complete the consolidations and make the organizational changes is expected to be approximately $3.0 million to $3.5 million."

These costs will have a negative impact on our results until we complete the consolidations in the first quarter of next year, but these actions should reduce ongoing fixed costs and improve operating efficiencies in both our East Coast and West Coast operations, while leaving adequate capacity for growth.

"The effects of these initiatives, together with higher selling prices in place during the fourth quarter of 2008 and anticipated decreases in raw material costs, are expected to return our operations to profitable levels next year and position us to take full advantage of improvement in industry conditions when they occur," Frierson concluded.

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