published Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Dixie reports first profitable year since before the recession

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    Pictured is a detail of one of the spools, or packages, of thread in the creeling area of the Dixie Group plant in Eton, Georgia.
    Photo by Jake Daniels /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Despite a fourth quarter loss, the Dixie Group Inc. said last year was its first profitable year since 2008.

The Chattanooga-based carpet maker said today it lost $203,000, or 2 cents per share, from continuing operations in the fourth quarter on sales during the period of $65.3 million. A year ago in the same period, Dixie earned $638,000, or 5 cents per share, on sales of $65.1 million.

For all of 2011, however, Dixie reported income from continuing operations of $1.27 million, or 10 cents per share, on sales of $270.1 million. In 2010, Dixie lost $4.37 million from continuing operations , or 35 cents per share, on sales of $231.3 million.

“The year of 2011 was our first profitable year since the downturn began in 2008 and evidence of the continued recovery in the upper end of the market that began in 2010,” Daniel K. Frierson, Dixie’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement today. “Since the bottom of the downturn in 2009, Dixie's sales are up 33 percent while the industry is up less than 5 percent. This is further evidence that the luxury end of the market is returning faster than the overall soft floorcovering market.”

For 2011, Dixie's total carpet sales were up about 15 percent while the industry was up in the low single digits.

Frierson said fourth-quarter profits were hurt in the short run by higher investments in new products.

“However, we believe that this investment will continue our above-industry average sales growth into 2012,” Frierson said.

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