HM Sees Sales Earnings Slip

    HOLLAND — Herman Miller posted lower sales and earnings from year-ago levels during the most recent quarter, as the office furniture industry continued to cope with soft economic conditions.

    The company yesterday reported first quarter sales of $324.5 million, off 6.5 percent from the $346.9 million recorded during the same period a year ago.

    Net income, driven down by a restructuring charge, totaled $6.2 million, or 8 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Aug. 30, off 36.7 percent from the $9.8 million, or 13 cents per share, and 2 cents below the expectations of brokerage analysts.

    The results included a restructuring charge of $3.8 million, or 3 cents per share.

    “Our business reality continues to be challenging. Although we remain cautious about the near-term outlook, we are very optimistic about our new products and services and their impact on our future growth and profitability. We do believe that the future is beginning to look brighter,” Chairman and CEO Mike Volkema said.

    On the up side, Herman Miller did see orders increase slightly from the previous quarter, maintained “relatively constant” margins compared to a year ago, despite the decrease in volumes, and the new Mirra office chair is off to a “great start” since its recent introduction to the market, Chief Financial Officer Beth Nickels said.

    The company expects sales for the current second quarter of $330 million to $350 million and net income of 7 cents to 13 cent per share, including a restructuring charge of 5 cents per share. Herman Miller recorded sales of $357.3 million during the second quarter a year ago and net income of $11.8 million, or 16 cents per share.  

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