Herman Miller second quarter back on track

December 18, 2008
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ZEELAND — Herman Miller Inc. announced its results for the fiscal year 2009 second quarter. While certain aspects were down others were up giving the company an ending cash balance of $166 million, $41.8 million in cash flow generated from the quarter.

Consolidated net sales were down 5.8 percent compared to last year; as were earnings per share, down 10.4 percent. Year-to-date earnings were consistent to last year at $1.20 per share and operating earnings were responsible for 11.5 percent of net sales.

North American sales decreased by 4.5 percent at $389.3 million. Non-North American sales for the quarter decreased by 13.4 percent when compared to a year ago, $72.5 million. The impact of foreign currency rates played a role in the decrease of sales.

“Our balance sheet remains very strong,” said chief financial officer, Curt Pullen. “This quarter we once again demonstrated our ability to generate significant cash and plan to continue adding to our cash reserves. Our current cash position, untapped $237 million credit line, and our business model will provide us the flexibility needed during this period of economic uncertainty.”

The impact of the recent cutbacks will be included in the company’s third quarter results. More employees than expected took advantage of the company’s voluntary separation offer, which resulted in $21 million in related charges, an increase from previous estimates. Still, the company’s annual expenditures for overhead and operating expenses will be reduced by approximately $60 million.

“While our ongoing improvement initiatives and previous cost reduction actions enabled us to deliver strong results through the first half of the fiscal year, we recognized the near-term economic climate compelled further action,” said CEO Brain Walker. “As a result, this month we began to implement the workforce reductions announced in November.”

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