Leggett & Platt Net Leaps in First Quarter

CARTHAGE, Mo.-Boosted by significant growth in sales and margins, Leggett & Platt's first-quarter net income jumped 1,267 percent to $45.1 million.

The manufacturer attributed the strong performance to a combination of  "higher sales, cost structure improvements and pricing discipline," according to a Leggett & Platt statement. It reported a 14 percent gain in net sales, to $816.4 million; and a 290-basis point in its gross margin, which reached 20.3 percent. In addition, it slimmed selling and administrative expenses by 9 percent.

David S. Haffner, president and chief executive officer, said the sales growth was particularly encouraging, coming on top of the company's "significant cost-reduction efforts" from last year. Haffner said Leggett & Platt is in the midst of the second phase of its three-part strategic plan, unveiled in 2007. The company divested low-performing business in the first phase and is executing the second-phase initiatives of improving margins and returns on the businesses it has kept.

"The third step of our strategy is to grow the company at 4 to 5 percent per year on average over the long term," Haffner said. This growth should come from product development and the identification of and expansion into new growth areas, he said.

HFN Staff | News & Commentary

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