Steelcase: Turned Around


    GRAND RAPIDS — If there were to be an exact moment when the contract furniture industry officially ended its turnaround and began its next growth era, it was likely last week’s fiscal 2006 report from Steelcase Inc.

    The world’s largest office furniture maker had its most profitable year since 2001, reporting net income of $50.8 million, over four times that of the prior year’s $12.7 million.

    This came despite a costly facility reduction that will include the eventual closing of the company’s Grand Rapids manufacturing facilities. Restructuring charges totaled $23 million for the year.

    “We substantially improved our profit in 2006 and are pleased to report a second consecutive year of solid revenue growth,” stated James Hackett, president and CEO.

    Steelcase reported yearly revenue of $2.9 billion, a 9.8 percent increase over $2.6 billion a year ago. Operating income of $85.5 million compared to $18.2 million in the prior year; $121.4 million compared to $31.6 million, excluding restructuring charges.

    For the fourth quarter, Steelcase reported revenue of $739.3 million, a 7 percent jump from $691 million in the year-ago quarter. Net income of $11.2 million was an eleven-fold improvement over last year’s $1 million.

    Orders through the first few weeks of fiscal 2007 are stronger than the prior year, the company reported, expecting first quarter revenue to be 7 percent to 11 percent higher than the prior year quarter.   

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