By Liz White, UT staffHigh Point, North Carolina-Culp Inc., a US supplier of furniture and mattress fabrics, reported lower sales for the second quarter of fiscal year 2006, to 30 Oct 2005 and attributed some of its reduced sales to an “industry-wide shortage of polyurethane foam used by mattress manufacturers.” Culp.’s net sales for Q2 2006 were $67.0 million compared with $75.4 million a year ago and the firm reported a net loss of $4.2 million, equal to that for Q2 2005. “Like others in our industry, our company’s second quarter was affected by a shortage of polyurethane foam used in furniture and bedding and by surcharges for raw materials, both of which factors are related to disruptions from the hurricane activity on the Gulf Coast,” said Robert Culp III, chairman and chief executive officer, in the company’s results statement. “In response,” he added, “we implemented surcharges in October to our customers in both operating segments. We expect that these factors will continue to affect our business over the next quarter, although to a diminishing extent.”Another major factor affecting the group’s sales of upholstery fabrics is “continued soft demand industrywide for US-produced fabrics, driven by consumer preference for leather and suede furniture and other imported fabrics, including cut and sewn kits,” the group said. “
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