Leslie's Poolmart Reports Loss in Fourth Quarter

Leslie's Poolmart, a swimming pool supply retailer based in Chatsworth, reported a $2.36-million loss on sales of $15.9 million for the fourth quarter that ended Dec. 31, compared to a loss of $1.88 million on revenue of $13.5 million in the same three-month period a year earlier.

Bob Olsen, chief financial officer at Leslie's, said the fourth-quarter loss reflects a typical winter slump in sales of pool supplies, plus costs of expansion.

"Sales were up, but we have more stores, overhead and staffing increases that more than offset the sales increases," Olsen said.

For the year, the company had a $4.58-million profit, up 50% from earnings of $3.04 million in 1993.

Sales in 1994 totaled $142 million, up 18% from $120 million a year earlier. The company attributed the improved annual results to higher same-store sales, expanded operating margins and the opening of 22 new stores during the year, bringing the total number of Leslie's outlets to 180 in 27 states.

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