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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.

Kimball International reports Q3 results

Thursday 2 May 2013

US Office furniture manufacturer and electronic services supplier, Kimball International, reported net sales of USD 301.5 million and net income of USD 3.7 million for the third quarter to 31 March 2013, of their financial year.
Consolidated net sales in the third quarter of fiscal year 2013 increased 6% from the prior year 3rd quarter as increased net sales in the Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) segment were partially offset by lower net sales in the Furniture segment.
Similar to last quarter, growth in several market verticals within the Furniture segment was offset by a double digit decline in both office furniture sales to the federal government and in hospitality furniture sales due to the comparable prior year period including sales from two unusually large projects.
3rd quarter gross profit as a percent of net sales was flat with the prior year third quarter as improved margins in the EMS segment were partially offset by lower margins in the Furniture segment. A sales mix shift toward the EMS segment which carries a lower gross profit percent than the Furniture segment also negatively impacted the consolidated gross profit percent.
Fiscal year 2013 third quarter net sales in the Furniture segment declined 3% compared to the prior year as decreased net sales of hospitality furniture, primarily due to two unusually large projects in the third quarter of last year, more than offset an increase in net sales of office furniture despite a double digit decline in office furniture sales to the federal government.
Gross profit as a percent of net sales declined 0.6 of a percentage point in the Furniture segment in the third quarter of fiscal year 2013 when compared to the prior year partially due to higher discounting and other competitive pricing pressures. In addition, the quarter-over-quarter comparison was negatively impacted by income received in the prior year third quarter related to the recovery of previously paid import duties due to a retroactive change in the tariff rate. Favourable impacts to the quarter-over-quarter comparison include benefits realized in the current year third quarter from price increases and higher costs incurred last year for supplier-related issues.
James C. Thyen, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We were very pleased with the performance in the EMS segment during the third quarter. Our key areas of focus in this segment are growth and further diversification of our customer base. The team is focused and taking advantage of the opportunities available in the marketplace.
The progress made in the EMS segment was partially negated by a loss in the Furniture segment for the third quarter on the lower sales volumes. The comparison to the prior year third quarter was a difficult one in the Furniture segment as we shipped two unusually large hospitality furniture projects last year. Orders in this segment were soft during the quarter, particularly within certain areas of office furniture.
Within the hospitality market, the high end of the market appears to be recovering while there is continued price sensitivity and discounting in the lower end of the market. Despite the challenges in this segment, we expect to see sequential improvement in the Furniture segment results in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter we just completed."

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