Steelcase Reports First Quarter Fiscal 2019 Results

– Strong order growth of 6 percent in the Americas and 7 percent in EMEA
– EMEA posts significant improvement in operating results
– Growth potential strengthened through additional partnerships and pending acquisition of Smith System
– Best overall showroom and significant new product recognitions at NeoCon
– Outlook for the second quarter projects strong organic revenue growth
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., June 20, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Steelcase Inc. (NYSE:SCS) today reported first quarter revenue of $754.0 million and net income of $17.0 million, or diluted earnings of $0.14 per share.  In the prior year, Steelcase reported $735.1 million of revenue and $0.15 of diluted earnings per share, which reflected the net impact of annuitizing three defined benefit plans that reduced earnings by approximately $0.03 per share.

Read full article here: (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2018/06/20/1527512/0/en/Steelcase-Reports-First-Quarter-Fiscal-2019-Results.html

Estel in Asia with Aurora Group

The Italian Estel has signed in recent days a long-term agreement with the Asian group Aurora to land on the Chinese market that provides as a first step the opening of a single-brand showroom of more than 600 square meters in Shanghai, Aurora headquarters, the next 21 June.
The new exhibition space was created in the Minhang district, the pulsating heart of Shanghai’s commercial life, and will offer a selection of products from the Smart Office range, the flagship of the Thienese company.

Read full article here: (PAMBIANCONEWS) http://design.pambianconews.com/estel-accordo-con-aurora-group-per-lasia/

Walmart could be selling furniture knockoffs

Office furniture making giant Herman Miller believes Walmart could be selling cheaper knockoff versions of its furniture.
Walmart’s Poly and Bark Sculpture Coffee Table, launched in February through the company’s new home shopping site, caught the attention of news and design publication Curbed, who noticed an uncanny resemblance to Herman Miller‘s Noguchi Table. The wood and glass Noguchi Table was designed by Isamu Noguchi in 1947 and is considered one of the most famous tables of the 20th century.
A new Noguchi Table from Herman Miller costs around $1,800. Walmart’s Poly and Bark Sculpture Coffee Table costs $309.

Read full article here: (Woodworking Network) https://www.woodworkingnetwork.com/furniture/walmart-could-be-selling-furniture-knockoffs

Chandler to Lead Workplace Design Group Fourfront

Gary Chandler has been named chief executive of the FourFront Group, a business operating through three design and fit-out divisions.
Chandler takes the role, having been in charge of fit-out business Area Squared, which with 360 (workplace consultancy) and Sketch (furniture & logistics consultancy) comprises the three Fourfront Group divisions.

Read full article here: (FM World – the BIFM’s Facilities Management magazine) http://www.fm-world.co.uk/news/chandler-to-lead-workplace-design-group-fourfront/

Steelcase to Acquire Smith System, Industry Leader in preK-12 Education Market

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., June 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Steelcase Inc. (NYSE:SCS) today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Smith System Manufacturing Company, a Texas-based manufacturer of high quality furniture for the preK-12 education market designed to inspire better learning and improve outcomes for students.

The acquisition is expected to advance Steelcase’s growth strategy to offer a broad range of innovative solutions to customers in the education, healthcare, and office markets.

“As education markets continue to grow, the combination of Steelcase and Smith System will create incredible value for our customers,” said Allan Smith, Vice President of Global Marketing at Steelcase. “Together, we can help schools create outstanding learning environments where students thrive, such as collaboration spaces, makerspaces and tech labs.”

Read more: (GLOBENEWSWIRE) https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2018/06/08/1519026/0/en/Steelcase-to-Acquire-Smith-System-Industry-Leader-in-preK-12-Education-Market.html

Herman Miller Acquires an Interest in HAY

Highlights
• Extends Herman Miller’s global reach and expands offering of furnishings and accessories
• HAY’s goods available in the coming year through Herman Miller’s Design Within Reach channels
• Expected to be accretive to earnings per share in fiscal 2019
ZEELAND, Michigan – Herman Miller, Inc. (NASDAQ: MLHR), the global designer and furniture manufacturer, announced today it acquired a %% percent equity interest in Nine United Denmark A/S (HAY) for +,, million. The transaction expands Herman Miller’s portfolio of leading global brands and allows the company to scale its consumer business, accessing a growing customer base that prioritizes both industry- leading design and value. Herman Miller also acquired the rights to the HAY brand in North America for approximately +4 million. The company has the option to increase its ownership stake in the future.
Founded in Copenhagen in 7887 by Troels Holch Povlsen and Rolf and Mette Hay, the company is a leader in ancillary furnishings in Europe and Asia, and active in both the contract and residential furnishing markets. Over the course of the coming year, HAY’s goods will be available through Herman Miller’s Design Within Reach channels. Herman Miller will launch an on-line store, as well as open four HAY retail locations in North America. HAY products will also be integrated into the offer to Herman Miller’s North American and International Dealers.
HAY’s proven success as a fast-growing global company, and its deep catalog of high-quality, well-designed furniture and accessories makes it a welcome and transformative addition to Herman Miller’s family of brands. HAY extends Herman Miller’s global reach and dramatically expands the company’s offering of furnishings and accessories for the home, contract, and hospitality markets.
“HAY is one of the best articulated design brands in the furnishings space,” said Herman Miller CEO Brian Walker. “HAY is a key building block toward our stated priority to scale our consumer business. The HAY assortment will significantly expand our offer to a younger, more urban demographic that we have targeted for expansion.”
Walker continued: “With more workplaces and commercial spaces adopting a residential feel, the opportunity to offer quality designs at an attainable price point is only expanding. Adding HAY’s considerable stable of products to our ancillary offer further cements Herman Miller’s ability to deliver excellent design to customers regardless of budget or what kind of space they’re outfitting.”
“Herman Miller is the perfect partner to expand HAY’s position in North America,” said Rolf Hay, co-founder of HAY. “On a personal level, Herman Miller and the work of Charles and Ray Eames are big reasons I do what I do today, and I am excited to align with a company that shares our sense of purpose and values.”
The entire existing management team led by CEO Henrik Steensgaard will continue driving the HAY brand, its product development, and its efforts in Europe and Asia from their headquarters in Denmark. CEO Henrik Steensgaard will report to a new HAY Board of Directors chaired by Troels Holch Povlsen.
“We’re pleased to join Troels Holch Povlsen and Rolf Hay as co-owners of the company,” said Jeremy Hocking, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, Herman Miller. “And we’re also delighted that Rolf and Mette Hay will maintain their current creative and leadership roles.”
Thanks to its already formidable global presence and strong adoption across the world, HAY is a clear leader in delivering design-forward goods for modern living and work. With its new home in the Herman Miller family of brands, consumers, distributors, and specifiers will soon see why HAY has been a runaway success across the globe.
The company expects to reflect its share of HAY’s operating results within equity earnings from non-consolidated affiliates going forward. Forecast revenue for HAY’s current fiscal year that ends in July 78CD is expected to total approximately +C44 million. On a GAAP basis, this transaction is expected to be between +8.87 and +8.8F accretive to earnings per share in fiscal 78CG. This amount includes estimated expenses of +8.87 per share from certain purchase accounting adjustments.

Additional information concerning the transaction is included in an investor presentation available on the Company’s investor relations website.
Source Link: (Herman Miller) https://www.hermanmiller.com/press/press-releases/herman-miller-adds-hay-to-family-of-brands/

Steelcase & West Elm office furniture announce partnership

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -Steelcase and West Elm have partnered to create new workplace solutions. Steelcase expects to offer a selection of West Elm furniture designed specifically for the workplace through its network of U.S. and Canadian dealers by the end of the year.
This partnership builds upon the successful relationship West Elm established in 2015 with Designtex, a Steelcase company, which designs textiles and surface materials, and manufactures and distributes West Elm fabrics.
The two companies plan to design, manufacture and distribute new workplace solutions in West Elm’s signature modern aesthetic, giving businesses easier access to a more expansive array of choices, through the Steelcase dealer network and West Elm contract furnishing dealers. This West Elm collection would complement an already extensive Steelcase portfolio, which includes a diverse range of options for the changing ways people are working today.
“Steelcase and West Elm share an ethos of improving the physical, cognitive and emotional wellbeing of people at work. Together we aspire to help organizations create inspiring, high-performance workplaces where people can be highly engaged and do their best work,” said Allan Smith, vice president of global marketing for Steelcase.
“We are delighted to work with Steelcase to create spaces that enhance the total wellbeing of employees and support the varied needs of today’s worker,” said Cheryl Carpenter, Vice President at West Elm. “We are connected to our consumer every day and have a deep understanding of their preferences from lifestyle to workstyle. Together with Steelcase, we will create customer experiences that leverage our differentiated residential design, shared commitment to world-class innovation, and Steelcase’s industry-leading workplace expertise.”
Source Link: (Woodworking Network) https://www.woodworkingnetwork.com/furniture/steelcase-west-elm-office-furniture-announce-partnership 

Herman Miller Leads Group of Investors Acquiring Maars Living Walls, a Worldwide Leader in Interior

ZEELAND, Mich., June 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Herman Miller, Inc. (NASDAQ: MLHR), the global designer and furniture manufacturer, announced today that it is leading a group of investors to acquire Maars Living Walls (“Maars”), a global designer and manufacturer of standard and customized modular walls. Under the terms of a preliminary agreement, Herman Miller will acquire 48% of Maars equity for $6 million with an option to acquire a controlling interest over time. Additional investors in the group include select US certified Herman Miller dealers, a European dealer, and members of the Maars management team led by the incumbent CEO.
Headquartered in Harderwijk, the Netherlands, Maars was founded in 1946 and has since expanded to over 45 countries. Maars creates innovative solutions for interior spaces, including offices, care and cure facilities, airports, hospitality, and universities. Customers have included Dow Jones, General Electric, Google, IBM, and Microsoft. Revenue for Maars in the most recently completed fiscal year totaled approximately $65 million.
“Maars products will be a key part of our offering that brings customers best-in-class solutions to help them create a variety of enclosed settings,” said Brian Walker, President and CEO of Herman Miller. “Now, more than ever, customers are looking for environments that are flexible, modular spaces, and Maars meets that demand with innovation and design at the center. Combined with other solutions we have or will be introducing in the near future, we will have a broad and leading portfolio in this important and growing solution segment. This is another key step in our efforts to increase our share of wallet as we build a stronger dealer eco-system.”
Menno de Vries, CEO of Maars Living Walls, added, “This acquisition strengthens our mission to improve people’s well-being and productivity by combining Maars Living Walls with the Living Office strategy of Herman Miller. Maars will have access to Herman Miller’s expansive and strong dealer network in North America and their global customer base. This combination significantly expands our global reach and opens up many new opportunities for the Maars brand, our people, and our growing network.”
This addition to Herman Miller’s family of brands will enable more dealers and customers to interact with the company’s growing product portfolio. An exciting range of leading-edge Maars products will enhance Herman Miller’s existing offering and add an important capability to the company’s network.
The modular wall market is growing quickly in North America and is already well-established in EMEA. Maars is now better positioned to capitalize on the North American opportunity, as it continues to build global leadership in this category.
“We are excited to join our co-owning dealer partners in this endeavor,” said Jeremy Hocking, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for Herman Miller. “We know that this solution set requires a highly committed and capable dealer network to lead specification and installation. We believe this unique investor group ensures we have the right folks to guide the implementation of the Maars strategy to expand their presence in the North American market and develop a leading global position. We are confident that the seasoned management team at Maars and our industry-leading distribution network will be a winning combination.”
Maars product lines include Lalinea, which was developed in collaboration with a leading international architectural firm with minimalist design as the starting principle. Additionally, LineaCube was recognized with the Best of NeoCon GOLD Award at NeoCon 2016 for creating an independent architectural space within an open office floor plan. The design features its own ventilation, acoustic insulation and absorption, and integrates power, data, audio, and lighting into the ceiling.
Herman Miller expects to reflect its share of Maars operating results within equity earnings from non-consolidated affiliates going forward. On a GAAP basis, this transaction is expected to be approximately $0.01 dilutive to earnings per share in fiscal 2019. On an adjusted basis, excluding the estimated impact of certain purchase accounting adjustments, the transaction is expected to be break-even to earnings per share in fiscal 2019.
Additional information concerning the transaction is included in an investor presentation available on the Company’s investor relations website.
Source Link: (PRNewswire) https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/herman-miller-leads-group-of-investors-acquiring-maars-living-walls-a-worldwide-leader-in-interior-wall-solutions-300660563.html