Commenting on the results, Daniel K. Frierson, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “The first quarter typically is the slowest and most difficult quarter for our business. However, Dixie had a year-over-year sales improvement of 20% with sales growth in all areas of the business.
"Our sales growth in the residential business was 21% higher than the same period in the prior year with notable growth in our mass merchant area. We believe that the residential market, in contrast, grew in the low single digits. Our commercial business increased 13% with particularly strong growth in our modular carpet tile area. This increase was in comparison, we believe, to low single digit growth in the commercial market.
The Company's loss from discontinued operations was $15,000, or $0.00 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2013, compared with a loss from discontinued operations of $77,000, or $0.00 per diluted share, for the prior year. Including discontinued operations, the Company reported a net income of $636,000, or $0.05 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2013, compared with a net loss of $181,000, or $0.01 per diluted share, for the year-earlier period.
“We are seeing the results of the investments we have made over the last several years in new products and sales opportunities. The residential growth was a combination of sales momentum in our mass merchant area, increases from the successful integration of the Gulistan products purchased late last year, growth of our Stainmaster TruSoft and SolarMax products and growth in our wool business. In the residential market, we are seeing a strong market shift to softer products, as demonstrated by the growth of our Stainmaster TruSoft products, and thus an increased opportunity to gain floor space at retail as the industry moves towards this new consumer preference.
“ We have expanded our residential sales force to take advantage of these added market opportunities. Sales for all of our residential brands were up for the quarter and all channels were showing strength as we entered into the second quarter. In the commercial market, we are pleased with the response to our expanded SPEAK modular carpet tile and newly launched FIT office remodel collections.
"These high performance products give us added breadth in our line and fulfill the need for high styled modular and broadloom carpet products in this market. In the commercial sector, we have expanded our sales force to give us more strategic focus in select markets. Our continued investment in products, processes and people, we believe, will position us to continue to outperform the industry at the high end of the marketplace.