Architecture & Design, Human Resources, and Manufacturing

Furniture maker implements 'workforce reductions' in 4Q

July 7, 2017
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Herman Miller New York flagship offices
A look inside part of Herman Miller's "flagship" location on Park Avenue S in New York. Courtesy Herman Miller

A furniture maker has reported an unspecified number of “targeted workforce reductions” occurred during its profitable fourth quarter.

Zeeland-based Herman Miller cited the staffing move this week in the announcement of its fourth-quarter and year-end financial results.

The company attributed “pre-tax restructuring expenses totaling $1.7 million” in the fourth quarter to the decision.

“These costs relate to severance and outplacement benefits associated with targeted workforce reductions implemented during the period,” the company said.

When reached for comment, Herman Miller did not disclose further information about the “workforce reductions.”

Earnings, sales and expenses

Herman Miller reported net earnings of $124.1 million for its 53-week fiscal year ending June 3, down from $137.5 million last year, a 52-week fiscal year.

It posted fourth-quarter net earnings of $33.5 million, down from $40.7 million last year.

The company reported net sales of $2.27 billion for the fiscal year, a 0.6-percent year-over-year increase.

It netted sales of $577.2 million in the fourth quarter, a 0.9-percent decrease from last year.

The furniture manufacturer attributed the decrease in fourth-quarter new orders to a price increase that went into effect on Feb. 6, which prompted about $21 million of orders to take place in the third quarter that otherwise would have been placed in quarter four.

“While order levels across our contract businesses remained mixed this quarter, we were pleased to see continued net sales and order acceleration within our consumer business segment,” Herman Miller CEO Brian Walker said. “This growth reflects improved momentum in all areas of this segment and highlights the opportunity we see to leverage growth through our multi-channel business strategy.”

Operating expenses for the fiscal year were $660.9 million, trimming $1.8 million from last year.

Operating expenses for the fourth quarter totaled $162.3 million, a decrease of $6.3 million.

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