Select Comfort's ad push awakens growth

  • Article by: SUSAN FEYDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 18, 2012 - 8:28 PM

The firm beat analysts' estimates and said its same-store sales rose 34 percent.

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Select Comfort spent more on advertising its Sleep Number bed last quarter. Sales and profit each grew at least 35 percent.

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Select Comfort Corp.'s efforts to make more consumers aware of its Sleep Number brand appear to have paid off in the first quarter for the company, which Wednesday reported a 36 percent gain in sales.

The strong results were fueled in part by a 48 percent increase in advertising spending by the Plymouth-based company during the period ended March 31.

Select's healthy sales also reflect an ongoing recovery by the bedding industry, which took a beating during the housing downturn.

The International Sleep Products Association recently reported that bedding unit sales were up 2 percent in 2011, while the dollar value of shipments increased 10 percent. Traditional innerspring mattress unit sales rose less than 1 percent, while unit sales of specialty mattresses like Select's adjustable firmness beds increased almost 30 percent.

Select's sales for the quarter totaled $262 million. Same-store sales rose 34 percent.

Earnings excluding a non-cash charge were $39.9 million, or 45 cents a share, versus 30 cents a share for the same period last year. The results topped analysts' estimates by a nickel.

In a statement, Shelly Ibach, chief operating officer and incoming CEO, said: "As we look ahead, we are confident in our ability to continue generating earnings-per-share growth of at least 20 percent per year for the foreseeable future."

The company said it expects earnings per share of $1.32 and $1.40 this year, up from $1.07 last year.

Select reported its results after the stock market closed. The shares fell about 3 percent to $34.10 in after-hours trading after closing at $35.24, up about 1 percent for the day.

Susan Feyder • 612-673-1723

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