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In this Nov 15, 2013, file photo, Creeler Vickie Glover replaces an empty spool at the Dixie Group in North Georgia.

The Dixie Group Inc. boosted its carpet sales by 9.3 percent in the first quarter to cut its losses compared with a year ago.

The Dalton, Ga.-based floorcovering maker said Thursday it lost $575,000 on sales of $97.5 million from continuing operations in the first three months of the year. A year ago, Dixie lost nearly $4.8 million on sales of $89.2 million.

On a per share basis, Dixie said it lost 4 cents per share in the quarter.

"Though the first quarter of the year is historically our weakest quarter, this year our sales were substantially stronger as compared to the same period in 2016," said Daniel Frierson, CEO of Dixie Group. "Our floorcovering sales were up over the first quarter of 2016 by 11.9 percent while we estimate the industry was flat for the same comparative period."

Dixie said sales of residential products increased 12.7 percent in the first quarter of 2017 versus the same period in 2016, compared with industry gains that were fairly flat in the same period.

Dixie said sales of residential products increased 12.7 percent in the first quarter of 2017 versus the same period in 2016, compared with industry gains that were fairly flat in the same period.

"We had a price increase early in the first quarter to offset some of these higher production and material costs," Frierson said. "Another industry wide price increase has been announced for late in the second quarter as material costs continue to rise."

Dixie said the startup of the company's expanded yarn processing capabilities in Atmore, Ala., "should improve our response time and further lower the cost of our make-to-order production model."

Shares of Dixie are trading higher today after the earnings announcement. But the current $4 per share prices is still well below Dixie's per-share price of $4.70 a year ago.

 

 

 

 

This story was updated May 4 at 11 p.m.

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