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Berkshire’s Furniture Stores Fuel Retail Revenue Gains

OMAHA, NEBRASKA: Berkshire Hathaway’s retailing business segment posted a 2.2% gain in third quarter revenues and a 4.5% increase in pre-tax earnings.

Retailing business revenues increased to USD3.83 billion in the quarter ended Sept. 30, from USD3.75 billion for the same period a year ago. Pre-tax earnings for the segment increased to USD184 million from USD176 million.

Through the first nine months, Berkshire reported a 3.8% increase in retailing business revenues to USD11.4 billion — fuelled, in part, by gains at its home furnishings businesses — and an 11.5% increase in pre-tax earnings to USD59 million.

The Omaha, Neb.-based conglomerate’s retailing business includes results from Top 100 Berkshire Hathaway furniture division — Nebraska Furniture Mart (including the Homemakers operation), R.C. Willey, Star Furniture and Jordan’s. Other Berkshire retailing businesses are an auto dealership; a Germany-based motorcycle accessories company, three jewelry store chains, See’s Candies, Pampered Chef and Oriental Trading Company.

In its quarterly report, Berkshire noted revenue from its home furnishing business increased 5.4% in the first nine months “due to higher volumes in certain geographic markets” and the opening of one new store this year. (R.C. Willey opened a 160,000-square-foot store in Sacramento, Calif., in January).

Its auto dealer business, meanwhile, accounted for about 64% of the retailing segment revenue and was up 4% through the first nine months. The pre-tax earnings gains in both the third quarter and year to date were due primarily to the auto dealerships and motorcycle accessories businesses, Berkshire said.

Berkshire’s overall revenues increased 6.6% in the third quarter to USD63.45 billion and were up 1.7% in the first nine months to USD184.12 billion. Net earnings attributable to shareholders more than quadrupled to USD18.54 billion in the third quarter and more than doubled to USD29.41 billion in the first nine months.

Omaha, Neb.-based Berkshire Hathaway’s furniture division is No. 7 on Furniture Today’s Top 100 with estimated 2017 furniture, bedding and accessory sales of USD2.01 billion at then 33 stores.

(Furniture Today)

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