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Li & Fung Touts Whalen Buy, Home Goods Success Despite Weak First Half

According to the company’s interim report for fiscal 2013’s first half released today, Li & Fung Ltd. acquired Whalen Furniture Manufacturing to broaden its product offering and complement the existing furniture business within its trading network, one that also includes True Seating. The effort to enhance the home goods business comes at a time when the category is a bright spot in the operation.

Li & Fung posted a net profit for the period of $96 million, as compared to $114 million in the year-prior first half, well below a Thomson Reuters analst average estimate of $150 million. Sales, or turnover in Hong Kong financial parlance, came in flat at $9.13 billion compared with the period the year before.

The Hardgoods piece of Li & Fung’s distribution network was a highlight of the financial report, driven by home furnishings and housewares. Hardgoods sales gained 7% in the year’s first half. Li & Fung noted that Hardgoods and home products in particular carried strong momentum into the second half of the fiscal year.