HM Logs Quarterly Sales Hike

March 18, 2004
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HOLLAND — Herman Miller Inc. posted its first quarterly sales increase in three years during the most recent period.

Sales for the third quarter that ended Feb. 28 grew 6.2 percent over the same period a year ago, from $310.4 million to $329.6 million.

Quarterly net income totaled $7.8 million, or 11 cents per share, a 160 percent increase over the $3 million, or 4 cents per share, a year ago. Net income includes a $1.1 million charge related to the closing of Herman Miller’s plant in Canton, Ga., and moving the work to the company’s Spring Lake campus.

Herman Miller also reported a 9.9 percent increase in orders from the same period in fiscal year 2003 and an 18 percent increase in backlogged orders.

The quarterly financial report, released Wednesday evening, provides further indication that after a devastating three-year downturn that saw the office furniture industry lose 40 percent of its sales volume, business is picking up. The industry trade association BIFMA recently reported a 7 percent increase in industrywide orders in January.

“Although we have demonstrated sequential growth the last few quarters, it’s particularly gratifying to report quarterly year-over-year growth in our top line,” Chief Financial Officer Beth Nickels said.

Year-to-date, Herman Miller’s sales are off 3 percent, from $1.01 billion to $984.4 million. Net income for the first nine months of the fiscal year was $23 million, or 32 cents per share, which compares with $24.6 million, or 33 cents per share, a year ago.

For the present fourth quarter, Herman Miller expects sales of $335 million to $355 million, which represents a 4 percent to 10 percent increase from year-ago levels, and net income of 10 cents to 15 cents per share, which will include a 2-cent-per-share restructuring charge.

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