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Steelcase trims more white-collar jobs as sales slide 33%

Tuesday 23 June 2009

GRAND RAPIDS -- Steelcase Inc. said today it will not contribute to the company\'s retirement plan this year and will cut an additional 200 white collar jobs worldwide.
Most of the company\'s salaried work force is based in West Michigan.
More consolidation of \"smaller manufacturing facilities\" is also on the horizon, with restructuring costs estimated at $25 million for its fiscal year that started in March.
The first quarter of 2010 is hopefully the bottom for Steelcase, leaders said today, as the world\'s largest office furniture company reported sales down 33 percent.
For the quarter ended May 29, Steelcase sales were $545.6 million, down from $815.7 million a year ago. Sales were off across all regions, customer segments and product categories, the company said.
Steelcase said it broke even on the profit side, with zero earnings per share. That\'s better than company\'s forecast of a loss of 13 to 23 cents a share.
Its operating loss was $5.2 million for the quarter, including $2.8 million in restructuring costs.
Looking forward, the company expects to break even for the second quarter, as well.
\"In the midst of mixed economic signals, uncertainty in the demand environment for office furniture remains high,\" said David Sylvester, chief financial officer.
The company is not providing full-year forecasts for sales, but Sylvester said Steelcase could achieve modest operating profits, not counting restructuring costs, if sales don\'t fall more than 25 percent off last year\'s pace.

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