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Haworth reports higher sales of $1.21 billion for 2010

Wednesday 9 February 2011

Haworth Inc., riding a broader recovery in the office furniture industry, posted sales of $1.21 billion in 2010, a 9 percent increase over 2009.

The Holland-based Haworth said today that the growth was driven by “strong results” in North America, Asia and emerging markets. Northern Europe also recorded “solid” growth.

The annual sales growth exceeded 2010 results posted by many other top office furniture makers.

“We had a very good year,” said President and CEO Franco Bianchi, who is “cautiously optimistic” for 2011.

The family-owned Haworth, which employs about 3,000 people in West Michigan, benefited from an improving U.S. economy and a “unique strategic direction, which is resonating with our customers” and focuses on providing full interior spaces, from architectural components such as movable walls and raised floors, to furnishings and seating.

“Despite the economic challenges of the past two years, we are cautiously optimistic moving forward and excited that our strategy will lead to continued success,” Bianchi said. “2011 will be a solid year and we are going to make it a great year. We have momentum.”

The economy generated higher demand during 2010, particularly in the latter months of the year as corporations felt confident enough to begin moving forward on previously delayed projects, Bianchi said. Favorable lease rates nationwide resulting from the recession also enabled growing companies to take advantage of good deals for office space, he said.

Haworth’s results for 2010 follow a 32 percent sales decline in 2009, to $1.11 billion, as the entire office furniture industry experienced a deep downturn amid the U.S. recession.

Business began recovering in 2010 and accelerated toward year’s end.

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