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Weak demand in its bedding, furniture, and fabric converting businesses led to double-digit sales and earnings declines in the fourth quarter at Leggett & Platt.

Sales for the three months ending Dec. 31 totaled $1.196 billion, down 10 percent from $1.333 billion in the final quarter of 2021. Net income totaled $52.8 million, or 39 cents per share, down nearly 50 percent from $105.5 million, or 77 cents per share, in the comparable quarter.

However, the company eked out a sales gain of 1 percent – a record $5.15 billion – for the 2022 calendar year. Full-year earnings totaled $309.8 million, or $2.27 per share. That was down 23 percent from $402.4 million, or $2.94 per share in 2021.

In addition, cash flow from operations jumped 63 percent in 2022 to $441 million.

“Leggett & Platt’s diverse portfolio of businesses, strong cash discipline, and the ingenuity and agility of our employees helped deliver solid results in 2022 despite weak demand in residential end markets,” said Mitch Dolloff, president and CEO. “As we moved through the year, the dynamic macroeconomic and geopolitical environment pressured our markets and affected our results.”

Sales in the bedding products segment fell 19 percent $522.4 million in the fourth quarter and were down 4 percent to $2.36 billion for the full year. The company said demand was weak in both the U.S. and European bedding markets.

Sales in the company’s furniture, flooring and textile products segment were down 12 percent to $370.6 in the fourth quarter, but rose 3 percent to $1.67 billion for the calendar year.

Sales in the specialized products segment, which includes its automotive, aerospace and hydraulic cylinders businesses, rose 15 percent in the fourth quarter to $302.8 million, and were up 12 percent to $1.12 billion for the year.

For 2023, the company is forecasting sales of $4.8 billion to $5.2 billion, which represents a decline of 7 percent to an increase of 1 percent compared with 2022. The forecast includes projected volume declines in the low single-digits in the bedding products and furniture, flooring and textile products segments.

Earnings per share are projected at $1.50 to $1.90.

“We anticipate 2023 to be a challenging year driven by continued economic uncertainty,” said Dolloff. “We are focused on improving the things that we can control and continuing to mitigate the impacts of market challenges on our business. We are working with our customers on new product opportunities, continuing our focus on improving operating efficiency, and driving strong cash management. Our financial strength gives us confidence in our ability to successfully navigate challenging markets while investing in long-term opportunities.”

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