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In the 2009 period, the company recorded $3.4 million of non-recurring net sales attributable to the going-out-of-business sale of a customer that was liquidated in 2009. Excluding these non-recurring net sales, the company's net sales increased by $1.9 million over the 2009 period. Direct-to-consumer segment net sales for the first quarter of 2010 were $6.6 million, unchanged from net sales of $6.6 million in the first quarter of 2009.
“We are pleased to deliver a profitable first quarter,” said Jeffrey Siegel, chairman, CEO and president. “Following our strategy of offering trusted brands and outstanding design at significant values, we grew our Mikasa® brand in all tabletop categories and re-energized the Pfaltzgraff® brand in casual dinnerware, while our new Design for Living® line of water bottles and thermal mugs continued to grow.
“Throughout 2010, we plan to continue our focus on expanding our market share, improving our gross margin, controlling expenses and reducing inventory. The severe inventory destocking by retailers, which affected the company by dampening demand in late 2008 and throughout most of 2009, abated in the fourth quarter. As a result, for the first time in over a year, retailers’ purchases were driven more by consumer demand than by internal company targets.
“We believe that consumers generally remain cautious and that overall demand continues to reflect the ongoing high levels of unemployment and underemployment. Nevertheless, comparisons of retail sales for the first quarter of 2010 with the first quarter of 2009 exceeded most expectations, and we are encouraged by indications that consumer confidence is moving upward and that consumer spending will follow. If business conditions continue to improve, the company’s results for 2010 should exceed our earlier expectations.”
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