Williams-Sonoma Profit Falls 42%

Atlanta Williams-Sonoma Inc. posted a 42% drop in quarterly profit on Wednesday and lowered its 2008 revenue forecast, sending its shares down as the soft U.S. economy and weak housing market hurt sales.

The operator of Williams-Sonoma cookware stores and Pottery Barn home-goods stores said earnings were $10.4 million for the first quarter ended May 4, down from $18.2 million a year earlier.

Revenue fell 4% to $781.8 million. Same-store sales fell 9%, hurt by weakness at outlet stores and Pottery Barn.

Williams-Sonoma said it now expects 2008 revenue of $3.74 billion to $3.80 billion, down from a previous forecast of $3.79 billion to $3.88 billion. Same-store sales are expected to fall as much as 8.3%, the company said.

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