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Martha Stewart's Home Decorating Business Takes a Dive - 2003-08-11


Home decorating empire Martha Stewart Living is reporting a huge plunge in profits amid a scandal surrounding its founder and former chief executive.

The New York-based company said it earned $931,000 from April to June, compared to $6.7 million for the same period one year ago. It reports revenues of nearly $66 million for the second quarter - a drop of nearly $13 million from last year.

The company, which has magazines, television programs and home items, said its core brand will continue to be under pressure until Martha Stewart resolves her legal problems.

Ms. Stewart stepped down as chief executive of the company in June - hours after she was indicted in a stock trading scandal stemming from her sale of 4,000 ImClone shares in 2001. The sale came one day before the government rejected ImClone's cancer drug.