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Leon's Furniture Q1 profit down from year ago; harsh weather shares blame

TORONTO - Leon's Furniture Ltd. (TSX:LNF) says harsh winter weather was partly to blame for a drop in first-quarter profits.

The retailer said Tuesday it earned $818,000 or a penny per diluted share for the quarter ended March 31, down from a profit of $5.4 million or seven cents per diluted share a year ago.

The drop came as same-store sales fell 3.8 per cent compared with a year ago.

"The profit decrease in the quarter was related to lower same-store sales, partially due to the extreme weather conditions across Canada," the company said in a statement.

"Further, gross margin dollars could have been higher had we reacted more quickly to the decline in the Canadian dollar. Finally, finance costs and non-cash purchase price adjustments related to the acquisition of The Brick further lowered profit."

Revenue totalled $426 million, up from $162 million, boosted by the acquisition of The Brick chain of stores that closed near the end of March last year.

Total system-wide sales were $508.4 million, including $82.4 million of franchise sales in the quarter, up from $203.6 million, including $41.1 million in the first three months of 2013.

Leon's has more than 300 corporate and franchise stores across Canada under several banners including Leon's, The Brick, Appliance Canada and United Furniture Warehouse.

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