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CANTON, MA-A surge in sales of high end TVs pushed upscale electronics retailer Tweeter Home Entertainment Group to a 10% increase in same-store sales during the fourth quarter, beating analysts predictions that the Canton, MA company’s quarterly same-store sales would remain flat.

Joe McGuire, Tweeter’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement that a 16% decline in the sales price of advanced televisions helped spur a 54% boom in unit sales, sending total sales up 9% from $173 million a year ago to $189 million for the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2005.

“The steps we took last quarter to close underperforming stores and clear out discontinued inventory have produced the desired results,” McGuire said, noting that total sales revenue increased despite the closing of 18 underperforming stores during the third quarter.

Sales for the fiscal year were up 4% to $795 million from $735 million a year earlier despite a $31.9 million loss in the third quarter, much of which was related to the store closings. The company, which operates 160 stores under the Tweeter, hifi buys, Sound Advice, Showcase Home Entertainment and Hillcrest High Fidelity flags, said same-store sales for the year were also up by 1%.

While advanced television sales helped fuel the numbers, audio sales showed slower signs of recovery, increasing slightly during the fourth quarter. That was welcomed news for Tweeter, which said it was the first time in several years that audio sales have increased. McGuire said he expects that trend to continue as consumers add higher quality sound systems to enhanced definition televisions.

The company, which has consistently lost market share to Best Buy, Circuit City, Wal-Mart and other mass-market rivals for more than three years, attributed the better numbers to the launch of a new marketing campaign designed to differentiate Tweeter from discount sellers.

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