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Movie Gallery Hit Hard by Hurricane

7 Sep, 2004 By: Holly J. Wagner

Hurricane Frances hit Alabama-based Movie Gallery pretty hard, and the damage may impact the chain's quarterly financials, executives said today.

The Dothan, Ala.-based company has undertaken a preliminary assessment of the impact of the hurricane on its operations, focusing on the 140 stores in Florida. About 100 of those stores had to close for part or all of the Labor Day holiday weekend, the company reported, and about 70 stores are still closed and more have limited operating hours due to power outages, floods, and ‘dusk-to-dawn' curfews in their areas.

“We are particularly thankful that there have been no reported deaths or injuries to our employees in the states of Florida, Georgia or Alabama,” said Joe Malugen, chairman, and CEO. “Our sympathies go out to those families that have suffered losses. We have begun the process of cleaning up, and would like to thank our employees for the tremendous effort put forth in reacting to this hurricane as well as Hurricane Charley just a few weeks ago. We had many employees working throughout the holiday weekend to assess the situation and respond as necessary.”

Three weeks ago, when Hurricane Charley hit Florida, the company had to close 80 stores for part of the weekend. In the week following, about 24 stores had limited operating hours due to power outages and curfews in their area. In addition, two stores suffered substantial damage in Hurricane Charley and have temporarily suspended operations.

“The company believes that it has adequate insurance coverage and does not believe the storms will affect its long-term financial condition,” said a corporate statement. “However, at this time, the executives are uncertain about the combined impact, if any, of these storms on its operating results in the second half of fiscal 2004.”

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