Sales Up Nearly 10% for Harry & David

Third-quarter net sales at Harry & David Holdings increased 9.7%, to $74.9 million for the 13 weeks ended March 28. The food gifts merchant’s sales for the same quarter last year were $68.3 million.

The company attributes the sales increase to the Cushman Fruit Co. business, which it acquired last August; a timing shift in its Fruit-of-the-Month Club product shipments into the third fiscal quarter this year from the second fiscal quarter last year; and higher sales from its Wolferman’s direct marketing brand. Harry & David had acquired Wolferman’s, which specializes in English muffins, in January 2008.

“These positive results were partially offset by lower sales in the Harry & David brand primarily as a result of increased markdowns and discounts and to a lesser extent, the shift of Easter sales into the fourth fiscal quarter this year,” the company said in a release.

Harry & David also slightly reduced its net loss. The company’s net loss for the third quarter was $18.2 million, compared to a net loss of $21 million for the same period last year.

“Overall we are pleased with our fiscal third quarter results; specifically, with the addition of Cushman’s sales, inventory management and the resulting gross profit impact, and an overall reduction in payroll and other SGA expenses,” said president/CEO Bill Williams in the release. “These improvements resulted in a $4.9 million increase over last year in operating cash flow from continuing operations.”

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