Key revenue figure up 13 pct. at Tandy Leather

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Sales at Tandy Leather stores open at least a year rose 13 percent in September, offsetting a decline in wholesale revenue.

Tandy Leather Factory Inc. said Thursday fiscal third-quarter sales topped second-quarter sales for the first time in more than 10 years.

The company said total revenue during September rose 7 percent to $5.4 million.

The company operates 77 Tandy Leather stores in North America that sell leather, leatherworking tools, buckles, saddle hardware and other items. All were counted in the closely watched figure for sales at locations open at least a year, and their revenue rose to $3.2 million, up from $2.8 million a year earlier.

The company's wholesale business reported revenue of $2 million in September, down 5 percent from a year ago. Wholesale same-store sales were up 3 percent in September.

Tandy Leather's same-store revenue figure, which is closely watched in retailing because it tracks existing stores and excludes ones that recently opened or closed, also rose 13 percent for the first nine months of the year, the company said. Revenue for the first nine months of 2012 rose 10 percent to $52 million.

Fort Worth-based Tandy said that inventory was steady at about $30 million at the end of the third quarter.

Tandy shares closed Wednesday at $5.32, up 2 cents. They are up 9 percent for the year.