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Herman Miller reports 2nd-Quarter Loss from Pension-Related Charges, despite Sales Growth

Thursday 19 December 2013

Herman Miller Inc.reported a fiscal second-quarter loss due to the results of charges related to its former U.S. defined-benefit pension plans and other items, despite improved revenue. The office-furniture company also unveiled a 12% increase in its quarterly dividend to 14 cents a share, up 1.5 cents a share. For the current fiscal quarter, the company forecast per-share earnings of 30 cents to 36 cents and sales of $445 million to $465 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters recently forecast per-share profit of 39 cents and revenue of $461 million.
The company, which helped spawn the cubicle craze more than 40 years ago, has been introducing new designs as companies adapt workspaces to changing needs. Such office layouts feature lower walls between desks, or even no walls.
"We are very pleased with our operating results this quarter, particularly given declining federal government demand in the U.S. and mixed economic conditions in other markets around the world," Chief Executive Brian Walker said.
For the period ended Nov. 30, Herman Miller reported a loss of $80.6 million, or $1.37 a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $8.4 million, or 14 cents a share. Excluding legacy pension impacts other items, adjusted earnings were up to 42 cents, from 35 cents a year ago. Revenue increased 6.5% to $470.5 million.
Herman Miller had projected adjusted per-share earnings of 38 cents to 42 cents on sales of $460 million to $475 million, below analysts' estimates at the time. New orders rose 5.7%, to $502.9 million, from a year earlier. Backlog declined 2%, to $307.9 million.

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