Leggett & Platt announces record first quarter

L&P results
Net earnings $71.7 million
Net sales $966.2 million
Earnings per share $0.50
Residential Furnishings Segment sales Up 18.1%
Industrial Materials Segment sales Up 6%

Mattress and furniture industry supplier Leggett & Platt Inc., with headquarters in Carthage, Mo., reported net earnings from its first fiscal quarter were $71.7 million, a 35% increase over the first quarter of 2014. Net sales from continuing operations rose 10.4% to $966.2 million, a first-quarter record. Earnings per share were $0.50, also a first-quarter record and 32% higher than the prior-year quarter.

The improvement in earnings per share was largely the result of strong unit-volume growth, the company said, but was partially offset by a $6 million pretax impairment charge in L&P’s Industrial Segment’s Steel Tubing business unit.

Same-location sales increased 5.6%. Unit volume grew 8.5%, but was partially offset by currency impacts and raw material-related price deflation. Acquisitions increased sales by 4.8%.

Looking ahead to year end, the company said it anticipates record sales from continuing operations, record EPS and its highest EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) margin since 2000. L&P has raised the low end of its prior 2015 EPS guidance and now projects $1.95 to $2.10 on sales of $3.9 billion to 4.1 billion.

Total sales in L&P’s Residential Furnishings Segment, which includes bedding components, adjustable beds, foam and other bedding-related products, were $529.5 million, an 18.1% increase compared with the prior-year quarter. Segment EBIT was $17.8 million, an 11% increase.

Total sales in the Industrial Materials Segment, which includes mattress-manufacturing equipment, were $192.4 million, an increase of 6.5%. A higher unit volume of drawn wire was partially offset by steel-related price decreases. Segment EBIT increased by $0.3 million. The increase generated from higher volume was offset by a $6 million impairment charge in the Steel Tubing business unit mentioned earlier.

“We are very pleased with our start to 2015. During the first quarter, we achieved strong volume gains and higher margins, which led to record first-quarter EPS,” said David Haffner, L&P board chairman and chief executive officer. “Improvement in demand was broad based with nearly all of our business units experiencing volume growth during the quarter. We continue to benefit in particular from the bedding market’s shift to Comfort Core springs, from significant new programs our adjustable bed unit won in 2014, and from ongoing content gains and new program awards in our automotive business.”

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