Crown Crafts earnings climb

Crown Crafts Inc., a Gonzales-based maker of baby products, reported its net income grew for both its fiscal fourth quarter and the year ended March 30.

Crown posted fourth-quarter net income of $2 million, or 21 cents per share, compared to $1.9 million, or 19 cents per share, a year earlier. For the fiscal year, Crown’s earnings climbed to $5.8 million, or 59 cents per share, compared to $5.1 million, or 52 cents per share, the previous year.

The company’s fourth-quarter sales rose by $400,000 to $24 million. For the year, Crown increased sales by $2.9 million to $81.3 million.

It was Crown’s best fiscal-year result since 2002, excluding 2006 and 2007, when the company enjoyed a $4.2 million income tax benefit and a $3.6 million gain after restructuring debt respectively.

The company’s performance improved despite a challenging retail environment, said E. Randall Chestnut, chairman, president and chief executive officer. The results demonstrate the strength of Crown’s business strategy, which includes a commitment controlling costs. The company remains debt-free.

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