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Sealy's domestic unit volume gains 4.5%

Apr '07
Sealy Corporation, the largest bedding manufacturer in the world announced results for its first quarter of fiscal 2007.

Net sales for the fiscal quarter ended February 25, 2007 increased 4.3% to $412.6 million from $395.7 million for the comparable period a year earlier on unit volume growth of 12.2%. Partially offsetting this increase was a 7.1% decrease in average unit selling price (AUSP). International net sales increased $14.7 million or 18.1% to $95.9 million. This translates to a 14.8% increase excluding the effects of currency fluctuation.

The increase internationally represents a 33.2% increase in unit volume, partially offset by a decrease in AUSP primarily due to strategic pricing actions in Canada and increased sales of lower priced OEM products in Europe.

Domestic net sales increased $2.1 million to $316.7 million on a 4.5% increase in volume, partially offset by a 3.7% decrease in AUSP. The increase in volume is primarily attributable to the strong growth of promotional and specialty bedding products. The decrease in AUSP is due to the higher volume of promotional bedding sales and strategic pricing actions on selected Stearns & Foster and TrueForm products.

First quarter gross profit was $177.3 million, or 43.0% of sales, versus $176.7 million, or 44.7% of sales, for the comparable period a year earlier. The decline in gross profit as a percentage of sales was driven by a planned increase in sales of lower margin promotional products, strategic pricing actions, the additional product costs required to bring the majority of our products in compliance with the July 2007 flame retardant regulations and the startup costs associated with the Company's new latex facility in Mountain Top, Pennsylvania. These factors were partially offset by continued improvements in manufacturing efficiencies.

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