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Leggett & Platt Store Fixtures unit makes progress during Q1

17
Apr '08
Diversified manufacturer Leggett & Platt reported first quarter earnings per diluted share of $.25, including $.02 per share of earnings from discontinued operations, and non-recurring items that basically offset ($.01 of restructuring-related costs, and a small gain on sale of assets). In the first quarter of 2007, earnings per share were $.41, including $.09 per share from discontinued operations and other items.

The year-over-year reduction in continuing operations' earnings is primarily due to soft demand in residential-related markets. Higher steel costs also impacted earnings in the quarter. The company has initiated selling price increases associated with these higher costs.

First quarter sales from continuing operations were $1.00 billion, 5% lower than last year's sales (from continuing operations) of $1.05 billion. Same location sales declined 6% due to soft demand and the company's decision to exit specific sales volume with unacceptable profit margins. This decrease was partially offset by 1% growth from acquisitions (net of small divestitures) completed in 2007.

Earnings from discontinued operations in the first quarter of 2008 were $.02 per share, and included approximately $.02 per share of non-operating charges. In the first quarter of 2007, earnings per share from discontinued operations were $.10, and included a $.06 per share gain from the sale of the Prime Foam business.

CEO Comments:
President and CEO David S. Haffner remarked, "We made good progress during the quarter on several fronts. The divestitures we announced last fall are progressing well. We are in discussions with numerous potential buyers, both financial and strategic. Investment bankers are assisting with the sale of the Aluminum Products segment and four of the other business units.


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