BASSETT, Va. – Bassett Furniture Inds. has declared a special dividend of 25 cents per share of common stock which will be payable Dec. 22 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 14.
News of the dividend comes during a challenging year for Bassett and others in the industry which faced COVID-19-related retail shutdowns in the spring and resulting supply chain disruptions once retail reopened.
“We are pleased to be in a position to pass along a 25-cent special dividend to our shareholders at the end of a very difficult year,” said Rob Spilman, chairman and CEO. “I am very proud of the efforts of all of our associates as we fought to maintain the financial health of the company and navigate the many challenges brought on by the pandemic.”
Despite the challenges, Spilman noted that wholesale orders and shipments were up for the fourth fiscal quarter.
“We recently completed our fourth fiscal quarter, and while we are still closing the books, we are happy to report that our wholesale order rate increased 26% while our shipments increased 9% over the prior year quarter, in spite of six fewer stores in the BHF fleet,” Spilman said.
“As a result, our backlogs are at record levels, and our balance sheet has strengthened to the point that we believe this distribution of capital is appropriate. Looking ahead, we will remain conservative in the management of our balance sheet while prudently investing in the business as we monitor the ongoing uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic.”
I’m Tom Russell and have worked at Furniture/Today since August 2003. Since then, I have covered the international side of the business from a logistics and sourcing standpoint. Since then, I also have visited several furniture trade shows and manufacturing plants in Asia, which has helped me gain perspective about the industry in that part of the world. As I continue covering the import side of the business, I look forward to building on that knowledge base through conversations with industry officials and future overseas plant tours. From time to time, I will file news and other industry perspectives online and, as always, welcome your response to these Web postings.