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Cost-cutting pads Select Comfort sales losses

Cost-cutting helped pad Select Comfort‘s second-quarter balance sheet a bit, but not enough to avoid another loss.

The bed retailer almost turned a profit for the quarter, even though sales were down 21 percent to $120 million. Operating income came out at $1 million, but after subtracting taxes and interest the company ended up with a $4 million loss. That’s a slight improvement over the $6.6 million it lost last year.

Select Comfort closed 21 stores in the quarter, which ended July 4. That brings the total closings in 2009 to 51, and it says at least 15 more will close before year’s end. The company also slashed its marketing, general and administrative, and research and development budgets.

“We continued to make improvements in our financial results, despite ongoing economic challenges and what is historically our weakest selling period,” CEO Bill McLaughlin said in the company’s statement.

And while we’ve seen some positive signs for the economy this week, Select Comfort doesn’t expect people to be in the bed-buying mood anytime soon. It’s second half outlook calls for more of the same: break-even or slight profitability before subtracting charges.

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