Q.E.P. Co. Inc. recently announced that net sales for the second quarter increased 23 percent, reaching $33.4 million versus $27.3 million reported in last year's second quarter. Current year sales contain approximately $1.3 million attributable to a foreign acquisition made during the second quarter, according to Q.E.P.

Gross margins increased 150 basis points during the period to 35.07 percent, compared with 33.57 percent in last year's comparable quarter. Net income increased more than 30 percent, growing to $796,000 compared with $609,000 one year ago. Earnings per basic and diluted share were $0.23 versus last year's $0.18 -- an increase of 28 percent.

For the first half of 2003, net sales increased 15 percent to $64.6 million compared with $56.2 million in fiscal 2002's first six months. Gross margins increased 56 basis points reaching 34.23 percent, versus 33.67 percent in last year's first half.

Net income for the six months, before the cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle, increased to $1.5 million or $0.44 per basic and diluted share, compared with $1.2 million or $0.36 per basic and diluted share last year. This marked increases of 24 and 22 percent respectively, Q.E.P. said.

The company took a charge in the first half of 2003 to write-off goodwill associated with its European and Latin American subsidiaries totaling $3.0 million or $0.89 per share. As a result, the net loss after the cumulative effect of the change in accounting principle was $1.5 million or $0.45 per share.