Annual Sales Up 11% for Design Within Reach

Fourth-quarter net sales for San Francisco-based furniture cataloger/retailer Design Within Reach rose 21%, to $50.1 million for the three months ended Dec. 30. For fiscal 2006, sales increased 11%, to $178 million.

Fourth-quarter direct sales were approximately $13.5 million, an increase of 4% from the comparable period of 2005. But for the year, direct sales slipped 4%, to $49 million, due to lower phone sales during the first half of the year.

The company’s net loss decreased, to approximately $0.13-$0.15 per share from $0.28 per share for the fourth quarter of 2005. But net loss grew for fiscal 2006, to $0.57-$0.59 per share from $0.15 per share in fiscal 2005.

CEO Ray Brunner described 2006 as a “challenging” year, but in a statement he noted: “We initiated a series of corrective actions to improve Design Within Reach’s operating performance and enter 2007 with signs of progress under way. We have assembled a strong new management team that is focused on the fundamentals of cost control and is committed to making sustainable profitability its top priority. In 2006, we successfully stabilized and repaired operations by significantly reducing corporate overhead, eliminating nonproductive categories and liquidating excess inventory, stopping all nonessential capital expenditures, and thoroughly examining and enhancing our financial reporting.”

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