Sales grew 2.4% over Prior Year, while Income from Operations was down 33.9%,
and Cash from Operations was $3.0 million;
Strategic initiatives are on track

FORT WORTH, TEXAS – Tandy Leather Factory, Inc. (NASDAQ: TLF) today reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019.  A conference call will be conducted by senior management at 10:00 am Eastern Time on May 9, 2019.  Dial-in details are referenced below.

Net sales increased 2.4% to $20.8 million, compared to prior year's $20.3 million (consolidated same store sales increased 2.8%, while new stores added $0.2 million of sales and closed stores accounted for decline of $0.3 million).  The overall improvement in sales was primarily attributable to the launch of a new sewing machine.

Gross profit declined 3.1% or $0.4 million to $12.4 million, compared to prior year's $12.8 million.  This decline was due to product mix, as well as promotions and clearance activities related to our Australia store closure at the end of February 2019.

Operating costs increased $0.2 million compared to prior year, primarily due to $0.4 million of non-recurring store closure cost related to the three stores closed during the first quarter of 2019 and $0.2 million of higher non-cash share-based compensation expense.  These increases were offset by cost savings from our UK store that closed in the third quarter of 2018, lower print and postage costs, as well as the pause in store relocations.

Operating income declined $0.6 million or 33.9% compared to prior year due to the $0.4 million decrease in gross profit and $0.2 million increase in operating expenses.

Diluted EPS was $0.10 compared to prior year's $0.14.

At March 31, 2019, cash totaled $12.7 million, a decrease of $11.4 million from year-end 2018.  During the first quarter of 2019, cash provided by operations equaled $3.0 million, and we paid off $9.0 million of debt, purchased $5.0 million of US Securities with maturities less than one year, and bought back $0.7 million of treasury stock.

At March 31, 2019, inventory totaled $30.6 million, a decrease of $3.3 million from the beginning of the year.

We plan to close our remaining store in the UK by mid-June 2019, leaving our Spain store as the only store based outside of North America.  We are now fulfilling sales orders from our UK and Australia customer base from our Texas distribution center.

Commenting on the results, Janet Carr, Chief Executive Officer, said, "As we've said over the last 6 months, we're focused on strategic initiatives to reinvigorate the brand and develop a new operating model to transform the business for long-term growth.  To that end, in Q1, we made progress against improving our inventory position and shuttering unproductive stores.  While an operating income decline of 33.9% versus last year is significant, it reflects the start of our investment in rebuilding for growth.  There's still a lot of work to be done, but we fully expect this investment to deliver longer-term earnings growth."

Consolidated Reporting
As of January 1, 2019, we operate as a single segment and report on a consolidated basis.  Prior to January 1, 2019, we operated and reported in two segments:  North America and International.   In early 2019, we announced several strategic initiatives to drive future sales growth and long-term profitability.  Key actions include developing a new operating model to better serve our retail and commercial customers, as well as reducing our store management structure from eleven districts reporting to two regional mangers into eight zones reporting to a single vice president.  As a result of these changes in the management of our retail stores and our decision to substantially close all of our international stores, with only one international store expected to remain open in Spain, we have concluded that there is currently only one reportable segment.  All prior year data discussed throughout this press release has been restated to conform to the new reporting structure.  There is no change to our consolidated financial position or results.

Conference Call Information
A conference call will be conducted by senior management at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time on May 9, 2019, and will be accessible to the public by calling 877-312-5524 or 253-237-1144.  Callers should dial in approximately 5 minutes before the call begins. A conference call replay will be available through 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time on May 14, 2019 and can be accessed by calling 855-859-2056 or 404-537-3406.  For both, reference conference ID number 2183438.  This call will be webcast and can be accessed at the company's web site at www.tandyleather.com.
Tandy Leather Factory, Inc., (http://www.tandyleather.com), headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, is a specialty retailer of a broad product line including leather, leatherworking tools, buckles and adornments for belts, leather dyes and finishes, saddle and tack hardware, and do-it-yourself kits. The Company distributes its products through its 115 North American stores located in 42 US states and 7 Canadian provinces, and two International stores located in the United Kingdom and Spain.  Its common stock trades on the Nasdaq with the symbol "TLF".  To be included on Tandy Leather Factory's email distribution list, go to http://www.b2i.us/irpass.asp?BzID=1625&to=ea&s=0.
Tina Castillo, Tandy Leather Factory, Inc.
(817) 872-3200 or tcastillo@tandyleather.com

This news release may contain statements regarding future events, occurrences, circumstances, activities, performance, outcomes and results that are considered "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results and events may differ from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to: changes in general economic conditions, negative trends in general consumer-spending levels, failure to realize the anticipated benefits of opening retail stores; availability of hides and leathers and resultant price fluctuations; change in customer preferences for our product, and other factors disclosed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  These forward-looking statements are made only as of the date hereof, and except as required by law, we do not intend to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

The following information was filed by Tandy Leather Factory Inc (TLF) on Thursday, May 9, 2019 as an 8K 2.02 statement, which is an earnings press release pertaining to results of operations and financial condition. It may be helpful to assess the quality of management by comparing the information in the press release to the information in the accompanying 10-Q Quarterly Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.

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