As of Thursday, April 5, 2012
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Gwinnett Daily Post
ATLANTA (AP) — Haverty Furniture Cos. said Thursday that improving customer confidence and newly refurbished stores helped boost its first-quarter sales by 5.7 percent at stores open at least a year.
Shares rose nearly 4 percent in midday trading. Sales at stores open longer than a year are a key indicator of a retailer's health because the figure excludes the volatility of recently opened or closed stores.
Haverty Furniture said total revenue in the quarter ended March 31 was $163.6 million, up 6 percent from $154.2 million in the same quarter last year.
CEO Clarence Smith said spending at the stores was boosted by more confident customers, newly renovated locations and better quality merchandise.
"These encouraging results are taking place in a continued difficult economic environment but are reflective of improving consumer sentiment," Smith said in a statement.
Haverty Furniture is a home furnishings retailer with 119 showrooms in 17 states throughout the South and Midwest.
Shares rose 42 cents, or 3.7 percent, to $11.89 in midday trading. The stock is still roughly in the mid-range of its trading price over the last year, when it has swung between $9.47 and $13.76.