Marketer and distributor of leather goods, The Leather Factory Inc, has posted a nine per cent climb in first quarter net sales to $10.2m compared to the year-ago period.

The Texas-based company said in a statement Leather Factory operations contributed 87 per cent of the sales rise, while Tandy Leather operations accounted for the rest.

New accounting procedures means the company posted a net loss of $3.2m versus a net profit of $0.5m in 2001. Without a $4m charge related to its subsidiary Roberts, Cushman & Co Inc, it would have made a net profit of $0.7m.

Wray Thompson, chairman and CEO, commented: "We're pleased with our operating results this quarter as we have once again generated solid earnings and healthy cash flow.

"The goodwill write-off is disappointing as it reflects an underperformance of that subsidiary since we acquired it in 1995. However, Roberts, Cushman has had encouraging operating results so far in 2002.

"Our other operating entities are performing well and we continue to work towards positioning the company to take advantage of the growth opportunities as they present themselves."