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A business consultancy, based in London, England, John Sacks' JSA Consultancy Services provides expert, in-depth, information advice and guidance as to how to exploit successfully the office furniture and interiors markets in Europe, North America, Australasia and Japan.

HNI Corp. 3rd qtr sales up 3.5%

Thursday 4 November 2010

As a result of challenging market conditions and the Corporation\'s ongoing business simplification and cost reduction strategies, management made the decision in the first quarter of fiscal 2010 to close an office furniture manufacturing facility located in Salisbury, North Carolina and consolidate production into existing office furniture manufacturing facilities. In connection with the closure of the Salisbury facility and other office furniture plant closures announced in 2009, the Corporation recorded $0.6 million of charges during the quarter ended October 2, 2010 which included $0.9 million of accelerated depreciation recorded in cost of sales net of a $0.3 million reduction in restructuring expenses. The Corporation reduced a previously recorded accrual related to withdrawal liability associated with a multi-employer pension plan due to an increase in the market value of the plant assets. The Corporation had previously recorded $1.3 million of severance costs for approximately 125 members during the first quarter in connection with the closure of the Salisbury facility. The closure and consolidation of the Salisbury facility is expected to be substantially completed by the end of 2010. The Corporation anticipates additional restructuring and transition costs of approximately $1.2 million related to the various closures over the remainder of 2010.

For the first nine months of 2010, consolidated net sales increased $2.8 million, or 0.2 percent, to $1.221 billion compared to $1.218 billion in the first nine months of 2009. Gross margins increased to 34.6 percent compared to 34.1 percent for the same period last year. Income from continuing operations was $17.1 million for the first nine months of 2010 compared to $7.7 million for the first nine months of 2009. Earnings per share from continuing operations increased to $0.37 per diluted share compared to $0.17 per diluted share for the same period last year.

Third quarter 2010 sales for the office furniture segment increased 3.5 percent or $13.2 million to $387.4 million from $374.2 million for the same quarter last year driven by growth in the contract and international channels partially offset by a decline in the supplies driven channel. Operating profit prior to unallocated corporate expenses decreased $6.0 million to $34.0 million as a result of lower price realization, higher mix of lower margin products, increased input costs and investments in selling, marketing and product initiatives. These were partially offset by higher volume, improved distribution efficiencies, cost reduction initiatives and lower restructuring and transition costs. Third quarter 2010 included $0.7 million of restructuring and transition costs including accelerated depreciation compared to $4.2 million of restructuring and transition costs including accelerated depreciation in third quarter 2009.

Net sales for the first nine months of 2010 increased 0.7 percent or $7.2 million to $1.03 billion compared to $1.02 billion for the same period in 2009. Operating profit increased 9.0 percent or $5.2 million to $63.0 million.

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