Culp (CULP) Q2 2020 Earnings Call Transcript

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Q2 2020 Earnings Call
Dec 06, 2019, 11:00 a.m. ET


  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:


Good day, and welcome to the Culp’s second-quarter 2020 earnings conference call. Today’s call is being recorded. At this time, for opening remarks and introductions, I’d like to turn the call over to Ms. Dru Anderson.

Please go ahead.

Dru AndersonInvestor Relations

Thank you. Good morning, and welcome to the Culp conference call to review the company’s results for the second quarter of fiscal 2020. As we start, let me state that this morning’s call will contain forward-looking statements about the business, financial condition and prospects of the company. Forward-looking statements are statements that include projections, expectations or beliefs about future events or results or otherwise are not statements of historical fact.

The actual performance of the company could differ materially from that indicated by the forward-looking statements because of various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties are described in our regular SEC filings, including the company’s most recent filings on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements made today and each such statement speaks only as of today. We undertake no obligation to update or to revise forward-looking statements.

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In addition, during this call, the company will be discussing non-GAAP financial measurements. A reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measurements to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measurements is included as a schedule to the company’s 8-K filed yesterday and posted on the company’s website at A slide presentation with supporting summary financial information and additional performance charts are also available on the website as part of the webcast of today’s call. With respect to certain forward-looking free cash flow information, the comparable GAAP and reconciling information is not available without unreasonable efforts, and its significance is similar to the significance of the historical free cash flow information, which is available in the company’s 8-K filed yesterday and posted on the company’s website.

I will now turn the call over to Frank Saxon, chairman and chief executive officer of Culp. Please go ahead, sir.

Frank SaxonChairman and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Dru. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us today. I would like to welcome you to the Culp quarterly conference call with analysts and investors. With me on the call today is Iv Culp, president and chief operating officer; Ken Bowling, our chief financial officer; and Boyd Chumbley, president of our upholstery fabrics business.

As we have previously announced, Iv will be taking over the role of CEO of Culp effective January 1, and I will be assuming the role of executive chairman. These changes are part of our long-standing succession planning process designed to provide continuity and a natural leadership evolution as the company continues to execute its growth strategy. Having worked with Iv for over 20 years, I am confident he is well prepared and has the vision, skills, experience and leadership capability necessary to be a great CEO. Iv will assume responsibilities for oversight of each of the company’s divisions, while I will remain actively involved in day-to-day operations with specific responsibility for corporate shared services.

I look forward to working with Iv as we transition to the new positions. I’ll now begin the call with some brief comments, and Ken will then review the financial results for the quarter. I’ll then update you on the strategic actions in each in our segments. After that, Ken will review the third quarter outlook, and then we’ll be happy to take your questions.

We are pleased with our performance for the second quarter of this fiscal year. While we had a modest drop in overall sales compared with the prior year period, we had improved operating performance in both our mattress fabrics and upholstery fabrics businesses. We believe the domestic mattress industry is working to stabilize from the disruption related to low-cost mattress imports from China, and the continuing variability in the market is evidenced in recent industry sales reports. We are monitoring the development and demand trends among our legacy mattress customers and the rapidly growing roll-packed or boxed bedding segment.

With our broad product mix and flexible manufacturing platform, we’ve been able to respond to these changing demand trends. Additionally, while our upholstery fabrics business has been affected by ongoing trade disputes and international tariffs, we were pleased with our ability to make supply chain adjustments to address these challenges and meet the needs of our customers. We also continued to refine our strategies for Culp Home Fashions, our finished products business, and we believe we are making some good progress in positioning this business for sequential improvement. We remain focused on leveraging this new online sales channel to expand our market reach with new products and customers.

In each of our businesses, we’re maintaining our product-driven emphasis with an unwavering commitment to product innovation and creative designs. With the support of our global platform, we are confident we can sustain our strong competitive advantage and respond to the changing demand trends of our diverse customer base. Importantly, we have the financial strength to pursue our growth plans and to continue returning funds to shareholders. We’re proud to announce another dividend increase, commencing in the third quarter, marking our seventh consecutive year of increasing the annual dividend.

I’ll now turn the call over to Ken, who will review the financial results for the quarter.

Ken BowlingChief Financial Officer

Thanks, Frank. As mentioned earlier on the call, we have posted slide presentations to our Investor Relations website that cover key performance measures. We’ve also posted our capital allocation strategy. Here are the financial highlights for the second quarter.

Net sales were $72.6 million, down 5.7% compared with the prior year period. On a pre-tax basis, the company reported income of $4.1 million compared with pre-tax income of $4.3 million for the second quarter of last year. The financial results for the second quarter of last fiscal year included a net benefit of $543,000 in restructuring and related charges and credits and other nonrecurring items, due mostly to the closure of the company’s Anderson, South Carolina production facility. Excluding this net credit, pre-tax income for the second quarter of last year was $3.7 million.

Net income attributable to Culp Inc. shareholders was $2.3 million or $0.19 per diluted share for the second quarter compared with net income of $2.9 million or $0.23 per diluted share for the prior year period. The results for the second quarter of last fiscal year include the restructuring and related credit I just noted. The effective income tax rate in the second quarter of this fiscal year was 46.2% compared with 29.8% for the same period a year ago.

The increase in the company’s effective income tax rate reflects a significant increase in the company’s global intangible low taxed income, or GILTI tax, which represent a U.S. income tax on the company’s foreign earnings. The continued shift in mix of taxable income that is mostly earned by the company’s foreign operations located in China and Canada at higher income tax rates in relation to the U.S. has also contributed to this increase in the company’s effective tax rate.

Importantly, income taxes incurred in the U.S. on a cash basis for this fiscal year are expected to be minimal due to the projected utilization of the company’s U.S. federal net operating loss carryforwards. Looking ahead to the rest of this fiscal year, we estimate that our consolidated effective income tax rate will be in the 45% to 48% range based on the facts we know today.

The effective income tax rate can be affected over the fiscal year by the mix and timing of actual earnings from our U.S. operations and foreign subsidiaries located in China and Canada versus annual projections. Notably, the U.S. Treasury department and Internal Revenue Service have issued newly proposed regulations that, if and when enacted and if enacted as proposed, could provide us with some relief from the GILTI tax under the proposed GILTI high-tax exception election beginning in fiscal 2021 or later, subject to the timing of enactment.

The proposed GILTI high-tax exception election is not available until the proposed regulations are finalized and effected. Trailing 12-month adjusted EBITDA as of the end of the second quarter of this fiscal year was $22.5 million or 7.6% of sales. Consolidated return on capital for the trailing 12-month period was 10.7%. Now a look at our business segments.

For mattress fabrics segment, sales were $35.5 million, down 4.7% compared with last year’s second quarter. Operating income for the quarter was $3.3 million compared with $2.9 million a year ago, with an operating income margin of 9.3% compared with 7.8% a year ago. We delivered an improved operating performance for the second quarter despite the modest decline in sales. Our recent investments in infrastructure and our focused efforts to rationalize both fabric and sewn cover production in the most cost-effective locations improved our operating efficiency.

We also benefited from more favorable raw material prices compared with the second quarter of last fiscal year. Return on capital for the trailing 12-month period for mattress fabrics was 16.2%. For the upholstery fabric segment, sales for the second quarter were $33.9 million, down 3.2% over the prior year. Operating income for the quarter was $3.5 million compared with $2.7 million a year ago, with an operating income margin of 10.2% compared with 7.8% a year ago.

Our improved operating performance for the second quarter reflects a more favorable product mix, due to the marketing success of our branded products and diversification of our customer base to include more hospitality business. We also benefited from a more favorable currency exchange rate as compared to a year ago. Return on capital for the trailing 12-month period for the upholstery fabrics segment continue to be impressive, coming in at 61%. The home accessories segment, which includes the operation of eLuxury, reported $3.3 million of sales for the second quarter compared with $4.8 million a year ago.

Operating loss for the quarter was $350,000, which was in line with expectations and sequentially improved from the $538,000 loss experienced in the first quarter. We’ll comment more on operating performance later. Here are the balance sheet highlights. We reported $47.2 million of total cash and investments and outstanding borrowings of $925,000, for a total cash position — a total net cash position of $46.3 million.

For the first six months of this fiscal year, we incurred $2.4 million in capital expenditures and spent $2.5 million on regular quarterly dividends. Cash flow from operations and free cash flow was $8.2 million and $5.6 million, respectively, for the first six months of this year compared with cash flow from operations and free cash flow of $6.6 million and $3.6 million, respectively, for the prior year period. This reflects a $1.6 million and $2 million year-over-year improvement in cash flow from operations and free cash flow, respectively. The company did not repurchase any shares in the second quarter.

With respect to our share repurchase program as reported last quarter, the Board approved an increase in the authorization for the company to acquire its common stock from the $1.7 million previously available back to a total of $5 million. With that, I’ll turn the call back over to Frank.

Frank SaxonChairman and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Ken. I will start with the mattress fabrics segment. Our results for the second quarter reflect changing market dynamics as the mattress industry attempts to recover from the turmoil surrounding the influx of Chinese imports and the subsequent antidumping measures. While demand is softer in our legacy business, we experienced favorable demand trends for mattress covers from customers in the popular and expanding boxed bedding space.

As a result, CLASS, our sewn mattress cover business, delivered an exceptionally strong performance for the second quarter, and we’re optimistic about additional opportunities with existing and new customers. Our robust supply platform for covers, including our production locations in the U.S., Haiti and Asia, supports diversification and creates a strong competitive advantage for Culp with the versatility and scalability necessary to serve our customers in an expanding global environment. Our ability to offer a broad product mix with a relentless commitment to product innovation distinguishes Culp in the marketplace. The recent addition of a dedicated innovation team ensures we are developing and offering the latest technologies and forward-looking products to our customers.

We’ve also expanded our creative staff to offer enhanced design capabilities that complement our innovation strategy, and we are releasing a new digital library platform during the third quarter to support our marketing efforts. We’re excited about these opportunities to further leverage our capabilities and expand our reach. Looking ahead, we believe Culp is well positioned in the marketplace, especially as industry conditions improve with a more stable demand environment. We are meeting the changing demands of our customers with creative designs, innovative products and an efficient global platform with the critical abilities to provide vertical product offerings from fabric to sewn covers.

We also intend to expand the footprint of our CLASS sewn cover operations in Haiti and Asia during the second half of this fiscal year, giving us further flexibility and capacity for serving the needs of customers in the boxed bedding space. We look forward to the opportunities ahead in our mattress fabrics business. I’ll now turn to the upholstery fabrics segment. Our sales in this segment were in line with expectations for the second quarter.

The slight drop in sales over the prior year reflects the continued soft retail environment for residential furniture and ongoing issues surrounding international trade agreements and the associated tariffs. As well as the loss of a product category due to the closure of our Anderson, South Carolina manufacturing facility during the second quarter of last fiscal year. We’re satisfied with the execution of our plans during the quarter as we benefited from strong product innovation. We experienced favorable demand trends from our residential furniture customers for our popular line of highly durable, stain resistant, LiveSmart performance fabrics.

Our recent introduction of LiveSmart Evolve, a new line of fabrics, featuring the same performance, combined with recycled fibers, has been very well received as a product that fulfills the desires of environmentally conscious consumers. We’re focused on promoting these brands and are pleased with the strong customer placements for these products following a successful October furniture market. We also recently launched a new outdoor product line, LiveSmart Outdoor, which pairs performance with the ability to withstand the outdoor elements. This product line builds on the strength of our LiveSmart brand and has been well received at recent showings.

Additionally, our overall sales reflect growth trends within our hospitality customers as we continue to expand our market reach into this segment. Read Window Products, or RVP — RWP, our window treatment and installation services business, supports this strategy, and we’re optimistic about the future contribution from Read. We have also recently strengthened our creative team to further support our commitment to creating innovative products and creative designs that meet the changing demands of our customers. Additionally, we’ve made supply chain adjustments and product engineering changes to mitigate the impact of recently imposed tariffs and to meet the needs of customers.

We continue to develop our strategic partner relationships in Vietnam for additional sourcing of our cut and sewn kits, and we will further pursue this opportunity along with other sourcing options to support our customers through the ongoing trade disputes between the U.S. and China. Going forward, while geopolitical uncertainties remain, we’re optimistic about the opportunities for Culp. We believe we have a strong strategy in place for upholstery fabrics and are very well positioned for the long term.

Next, I’ll review our newest business segment, Culp Home Fashions. The sales and operating performance for our home accessories segment were in line with expectations, as we further refined our business model. We are working diligently to execute new strategies with a more aggressive approach to the business to business market, along with greater customer diversification and new online retail marketplaces. We have implemented key initiatives that are already driving improvement and creating greater long-term opportunities.

We also remain dedicated to improving our performance on Amazon, a principal sales channel for our legacy e-commerce business. As noted in recent press reports, the Amazon marketplace and many of its trusted third-party sellers have been affected by new sellers operating outside of Amazon’s normal terms of service. We are collaboratively discussing several options and rationalizing our offerings to enhance this sales channel. In addition, we continue to develop new products that are synergistic with the company’s core businesses, and we’re excited about the opportunity to leverage this sales channel and reach new customers for Culp.

Ken will now review the outlook for the third and fourth quarters and the second half of this fiscal year, and then we’ll be glad to take your questions.

Ken BowlingChief Financial Officer

In the outlook, I will comment specifically on the expectations for the third quarter, but I will also touch on the fourth quarter, given how we see our businesses performing during second half of this fiscal year. We expect overall sales to be comparable to the third quarter of last year. We expect mattress fabric sales to be slightly down and operating income and margins to be moderately down compared with the third quarter of last year. The third quarter is a traditionally slower sales period and is affected by the loss of multiple weeks of production and distribution for our CLASS cover business as a result of government-mandated holiday shutdowns in Haiti and the timing of Chinese New Year.

The impact of these seasonal shutdowns during this period is greater this year, as compared to the third quarter of last fiscal year because the CLASS sewn cover business is a more significant part of our current operations. For the fourth quarter of this fiscal year, we currently expect sales to increase slightly and operating income and margins to be significantly up as compared to the fourth quarter of last fiscal year. We anticipate benefits from a return to strong growth for our CLASS cover business, continued improvement in overall industry conditions, and improved operating efficiencies across all product lines. As a result, we expect sales for the second half of this fiscal year to be comparable to sales for the — as compared to second half of last fiscal year, and operating income and margins for the period are expected to be moderately higher as compared with the second half of the prior year.

In our upholstery fabrics segment, we expect third quarter sales and operating income and margins to be comparable to the same period last year. Similarly, for the second half of this fiscal year, we also expect sales and operating income and margins to be comparable to the second half of last fiscal year. In our home accessories segment, we expect third quarter sales to be slightly down compared to the third quarter of last fiscal year. We expect an operating loss for the quarter, but with meaningful improvement as compared to the second quarter.

For the fourth quarter, we expect operating performance to be near breakeven, as we continue to refine our strategies and focus on higher-margin products. Considering these factors, as well as increased unallocated corporate expenses due mostly to the comparison to last year’s reversal of accrued incentive compensation cost, the company expects to report pre-tax income for the third quarter in the range of $3.2 million to $3.8 million, excluding any restructuring and related charges or credits and impairment charges, if any. Pretax income for last year’s third quarter was $4.3 million, which included a net charge of approximately $769,000 in restructuring and related charges and credits and other nonrecurring items. Excluding these charges, pre-tax income for the third quarter of last fiscal year was $5 million.

The company currently expects our performance for the fourth quarter of this fiscal year to be significantly better than the results achieved in the fourth quarter of last fiscal year, and as a result, our performance for the second half of this fiscal year is currently expected to be better than results achieved during the prior year period. Based on our current budget, capital expenditures for fiscal 2020 are expected to be in the $7.5 million to $8 million range, and depreciation and amortization is expected to be approximately $9 million for the year. Additionally, given the current outlook, free cash flow for fiscal 2020 is expected to be comparable to last year’s results even with an uncertain geopolitical environment. As a reminder, cash flow from operations last year was $13.9 million, and free cash flow for the year was $11.5 million.

With that, we’ll now take your questions.

Questions & Answers:


[Operator instructions] We will now take our first question from Bobby Griffin of Raymond James. Please go ahead. Your line is open.

Unknown speaker

Good morning. This is [Inaudible] on for Bobby Griffin. First — good morning. Can you update us on how the hospitality business is performing within the upholstery segment and how the Read Window Products integration is progressing?

Boyd ChumbleyPresident of our Upholstery Fabrics Business

Yes. This is Boyd. I’d be happy to update you on that. We remain very pleased with the Read Window Products business and the hospitality business overall.

We continue to see growth in that segment within our overall upholstery fabrics business. And Read Window Products, in particular, of course, that acquisition has expanded our product capability to include window products in addition to the furniture fabrics that we were previously supplying into that segment. So we are very pleased with that, and it continues [Inaudible — our strategy to become a more full-service provider to the hospitality market. So yes, we remain very positive about hospitality in general and Read, in particular.

We think, in both areas of that, we expect to see further growth and are very optimistic for that going forward.

Unknown speaker

OK. That’s helpful. And can you talk about what the growth prospects of the hospitality business look like from an M&A standpoint?

Boyd ChumbleyPresident of our Upholstery Fabrics Business

We certainly are continuing to assess if there are other acquisition candidates available in this area. That’s something that we are certainly staying abreast of and focused on. We are continuing to see and evaluate if there’s something further there that would make sense for us. And before we get — stay — we’d like to stay focused in that area and see if there is some candidates.

Frank SaxonChairman and Chief Executive Officer

This is Frank, I’ll add to that. As we’ve said on earlier calls, we would be very interested in putting more capital to work in this space, where, as Boyd said, we’re very pleased with the Read acquisition and the management team and the opportunities that we see there. And definitely interested in M&A opportunities as we look ahead.

Unknown speaker

OK. And then lastly for me, what are your expectations for mattress imports in calendar year ’20? And are you concerned with the level of mattress imports that have shifted to other countries?

Iv CulpPresident and Chief Operating Officer

Sandra, this is Iv. Really appreciate that question, and something that we’re checking on pretty much every day. And you are right, the volatility, and we speak about it in the press release, is continuing. And while there was a nice boost, certainly China imports have reduced and it’s been a nice boost to our sales numbers.

But looking forward, a lot of that business is being relocated to other countries, primarily in Asia or other places. So it’s something to keep an eye on. It’s something we definitely are concerned about for the domestic market, and we’ll watch it very close. But a little bit different for us looking forward on it is, we have got such a great platform, really a robust platform, both in covers and mattress fabrics.

Already with Culp China and what we’re doing in Vietnam, we really are seeing an opportunity to capture fabric and even cover business on those imported sales going forward. So it’s a much different perspective for us, perspective as we look out. You certainly would rather the business be domestic, but if it’s not, we have ways of capturing our products on those imports, which we didn’t have before.


[Operator instructions] We will now take our next question from John Baugh of Stifel. Please go ahead.

John BaughStifel Financial Corp. — Analyst

Thank you and good morning. Iv, I wanted to, I guess, continue on the bedding topic, on a couple of things here. One, it’s — you mentioned, a lot is being relocated to other countries. Is it your view or is it just too early to call that virtually all the units from China that were coming in will be replaced elsewhere around the world? And that the U.S.

producers will really pick up nothing or fractional? Or any early read on that.

Iv CulpPresident and Chief Operating Officer

Yes. It’s a good question, John. And I’m certainly not the expert to know that, and it is probably a little bit early to call. But I would say we have been surprised at how much of the business that was currently — was previously imported from China has relocated to other countries.

So I think the jury is still out as to whether those other countries can support it, both service-wise and cost-wise and quality-wise as China did. So I do think there is business to be gained for domestic producers, but from Culp internal perspective, we really do see a lot of opportunities to pick up business in these other import countries. So I’m not nearly as worried about it as I was previously, but it is something we have to monitor really close to see how much ends up sticking back in the U.S.

John BaughStifel Financial Corp. — Analyst

OK. And then you mentioned the kind of yin and yang between legacy and boxed beds. And I guess the question is, on a margin basis for Culp, is that a favorable trade as you look at it? Neutral, unfavorable?

Iv CulpPresident and Chief Operating Officer

John, I think the way I would talk about that is — and there is yin and yang in legacy and roll-packed. And really, just as we look at the full industry, the industry overall sales reports were slightly negative for the last three months, and I think there’s just been some companies that are doing very well and some that are not. And so as a full service, full industry supplier, we’re kind of feeling that, seeing some high wins and seeing some lows, customer to customer. I do think for — generally speaking, very favorable for us, the more it moves to roll-packed, sewn cover type of business because we are having more value in the ultimate finished product.

So instead of just being a fabric, we’re a fabric and a sewing operation, which is giving more value to the customer and allowing us to participate more in the overall cost of the product.

John BaughStifel Financial Corp. — Analyst

Got it. And then maybe an upholstery question here. Gross profit margins are terrific in the latest quarter and six months, I believe. And I think you elucidated a few reasons there.

But I guess the question simply is, is — how much of this is just — how much of this is sustainable? How much of it repeats? Or can it even get stronger from here? You’re doing this with, obviously, somewhat tepid volumes and all the tariff noise on top of it. So I’m curious as to what the longer-range gross margin outlook for upholstery might be.

Boyd ChumbleyPresident of our Upholstery Fabrics Business

Yes, John, and this is Boyd. And to the standpoint that it’s associated with our product mix, which, as you know, we are very focused on innovation and design, creativity, that’s a big focus and strategically for us from a product standpoint. And so from that standpoint, I think this is sustainable in that we are seeing growing business in our performance category of products. And as we’ve already spoken, we’re seeing growing percentage of our business in the hospitality segment.

So both of those things are contributing to the improved profitability from a mix standpoint. We also, this quarter and in some other quarters, have benefited some from currency. Questions of where that goes from here, of course, but there was some benefit this quarter from that. So I think there’s some combination of both, but we really feel good about the strategic focus on innovation, product direction that, that will continue to drive good profitability for us.

John BaughStifel Financial Corp. — Analyst

And then maybe Ken, could you touch on — inventories look like they’re up fairly substantially and kind of what — what drove that? And sort of the next six months, what that number looks like?

Ken BowlingChief Financial Officer

Yes. John, they are up mainly, well, in two areas. One in our home fashions business and also eLuxury, the eLuxury side was a strategic increase to get ready for the holiday season with new products. So we’re hoping that will be burned through here as we go through the second half.

With regard to mattress fabrics, that’s one that the team is focused on and dedicated to get it down in the third quarter. And so we’re working on that, as we kind of rationalize our production schedules during the third quarter. But that’s certainly high on the list of projects that we need to focus on as we go into the third quarter.

John BaughStifel Financial Corp. — Analyst

OK. And then last question for you or Frank. Could you refresh our memory on sort of where — what price you were buying stock in — at? And what thoughts you have in that regard with the equity and where it’s trading today? Thank you.

Frank SaxonChairman and Chief Executive Officer

John, I think our key — in our capital allocation strategy, which we publish on the website, as you know, the highest priorities for us are investing in our own businesses and looking at M&A opportunities. And as we’ve just said previously, we do see opportunities in expanding the hospitality area. So that’s high on our list before other capital allocation items like repurchasing stock. Now we did repurchase some a little earlier this year.

Ken, we purchased some in $15. [Inaudible] that was — yes, that was in the $15.

Ken BowlingChief Financial Officer

$15 in Q4.

Frank SaxonChairman and Chief Executive Officer

In the Q4 range in the $15.

Ken BowlingChief Financial Officer

Yes. That was [Inaudible].

Frank SaxonChairman and Chief Executive Officer

I don’t remember exactly. Yes but it’s out there. We do have a 10b5. And we’ve always said, in terms of stock repurchase, we are an opportunistic buyer.

But our priority definitely is expanding, putting some of the capital that we’re fortunate to have to work in the business. And we do see opportunities in hospitality, and that could take — it will take some capital when the right opportunity comes along.

John BaughStifel Financial Corp. — Analyst

OK. Thanks for the call. Appreciate it. Good luck.


[Operator instructions] We will now take our next question from Marco Rodriguez of Stonegate Capital Markets. Please go ahead.

Marco RodriguezStonegate Capital Markets — Analyst

Morning, guys. Thank you for taking my questions. I wanted to follow-up on the prior couple of questions here. Just on the M&A landscape, as it relates to the hospitality business, I mean, this is an area that, obviously, you guys have been doing fairly well with Read Windows, something you’ve talked about as far as looking to allocate capital for additional acquisitions.

It’s been maybe about a year since we’ve been discussing this. Just kind of wondering what have been sort of the holdups when it comes to these potential opportunities you had out there? Is it a valuation issue or other sort of integration-type stumbling blocks that have kind of kept you guys from pulling the trigger there?

Frank SaxonChairman and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. Good question, Marco. And I think as we’ve said earlier, we are optimistic in that space. However, before tackling the next Read Window, so to speak, we wanted to get a couple of things behind us.

We wanted to see the mattress fabric business and the impact of the low-cost mattresses, we wanted to see that stabilize. And as Iv mentioned, we’re beginning to see that done, and we think we’ll be in a better place by the start of the next fiscal year on that industry trend. And secondly, we wanted to learn more and be sure we knew well — a lot better the hospitality business. And the Read acquisition was 18 months ago, and we’ve continued to learn a lot about that business, I mean Read.

And we’ve gained a lot of knowledge — and I think that we will be ready by next fiscal year to do that. It has not been a valuation issue. As Boyd just mentioned — management priorities. And we wanted to — as you know, and we’ve said, we’ve — we are focusing on the eLuxury acquisition, and we’d like to see that improve, and it is improving over the last quarter, and we see further improvement.

So we’d like to get that back to close to breakeven before tackling something else.

Marco RodriguezStonegate Capital Markets — Analyst

Got it. Understood. That’s helpful. Then in terms of the eLuxury and the home accessories segment, you guys do seem to remain pretty confident in the strategies you’re rolling out there to kind of get that business to show top line growth and then obviously to start to show profitability there.

I just wondered if maybe you can talk a little bit about that acquisition. Just kind of from a high level, how you’re thinking about the success compared to maybe the way you were thinking about it when you first made the acquisition? Then if you could possibly talk about conservatively, where do you think you can drive that business to where it becomes a significant driver for Culp overall?

Iv CulpPresident and Chief Operating Officer

Yes. Marco, this is Iv. Thanks, that’s really excellent questions. And just a point of technicality, eLuxury for us is an investment versus a full acquisition.

We still have really strong partners that we’re working with in that business that we’re thrilled with and excited with the way they’re operating and thinking about the business. But you are right, it’s been different than we expected when we first made the investment. And I first would say there are a lot of things going well. We have really great performance with our B2B emphasis.

We’re having really solid performance on a lot of new e-commerce channels. We’re having a lot of really great success with some private labeling that we’re doing for different customers. But what’s really set us back, and we didn’t expect, was the impact of the major e-commerce channel, primarily Amazon. We thought that business would be pretty stable and would be the most exciting part of the business, and then we would tack in the bolt-on synergistic adds through our operations that would make it just perform even better.

But we’ve had to kind of reshuffle that because Amazon, not has targeted us directly, but there’s been so many sellers that have found their way onto that marketplace outside of the normal terms of service and have hijacked different listings or impacted our listings or fake reviews of their own. It’s just become a much more competitive landscape in that major market, which is really what we invested in. So we’ve — we’re proud of the changes we’ve done. We firmly believe we’re going to take this thing to a breakeven in this fiscal year, maybe even, I believe, we can potentially start showing some profit.

But there are so many things going right from the B2B synergistic standpoint. And the way we’re supplying that business, we just — we need the major market. That did surprise us, to get back on track, and we are collaboratively working on that. Yes, we think the right context, but we need to prove that we can turn that around.

Marco RodriguezStonegate Capital Markets — Analyst

Very helpful. Then in terms of the gross margin performance that you had here in the quarter, another very solid quarter. On the mattress fabric side, you guys had pointed out, obviously, the operational efficiencies and some raw material help on the upholstery side. You had a product mix as well as FX, which I think you called out as another help in Q1.

Can you maybe help us quantify some of those buckets just as where those — where you’re seeing the most leverage to these gross margin performances this year in the first half?

Ken BowlingChief Financial Officer

Yes. Marco, this is Ken. It’s hard to quantify. As you’ve pointed out, there’s been significant impacts this quarter.

I mean the mix issue on the upholstery side is something that has been developed over time. The currency is one that has also definitely contributed but that can go either way sometimes. So it’s kind of hard to quantify. On the mattress side, the changes that we have made recently and also the changes that were made previously, has certainly helped and so — but there’s a lot of things going on.

And of course, as we look ahead, the impact of shutdowns and vacations and things like that will have an impact as well. But it’s just — we don’t call them out because they’re very difficult to quantify. And we do talk about sustainability, which Boyd touched on and the risk of foreign exchange, but we just really don’t go there because it’s really difficult to get it to exactly the way we want it.

Marco RodriguezStonegate Capital Markets — Analyst

Understand. Thanks, guys. Appreciate your time.


There are no further questions over the phone at this time.

Frank SaxonChairman and Chief Executive Officer

OK. Thank you, everyone, for joining us on the call today. And we look forward to updating you after our third quarter. Have a great day.


[Operator signoff]

Duration: 49 minutes

Call participants:

Dru AndersonInvestor Relations

Frank SaxonChairman and Chief Executive Officer

Ken BowlingChief Financial Officer

Unknown speaker

Boyd ChumbleyPresident of our Upholstery Fabrics Business

Iv CulpPresident and Chief Operating Officer

John BaughStifel Financial Corp. — Analyst

Marco RodriguezStonegate Capital Markets — Analyst

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