Leggett & Platt said first-quarter sales fell 8 percent to $1.21 billion as demand remained soft in its bedding, furniture, flooring and textiles businesses.
The weak demand also affected the company’s bottom line, as net income for the three months ended March 31 was down 41 percent to $53.5 million or 39 cents per share.
President and CEO Mitch Dolloff said the results were above expectations, however, because several expenses were lower than projected.
“Our diverse portfolio of businesses, our solid financial position, and the ingenuity and agility of our employees continue to help us navigate challenging markets,” Dolloff said. “We are focused on improving the things that we can control and continuing to mitigate the macroeconomic impacts on our business. Our financial discipline allows us to withstand periods of economic uncertainty and enables us to manage our company for long-term success.”
He said the company would continue to focus on improving operational efficiency and work with customers on new product opportunities.
Sales in its bedding products segment fell 17 percent to $528.5 million due largely to weak demand in the U.S. mattress market and decreased selling prices of raw materials. Earnings before interest and taxes in that segment tumbled 56 percent to $33.3 million.
The company’s furniture, flooring and textiles product segment recorded sales of $364.4 million, a 13 percent decline from last year’s first quarter. Earnings before interest and taxes were down 34 percent to $28.3 million.
The specialized products segment, which includes its automotive, aerospace and hydraulic cylinders businesses, recorded a 21 percent sales increase to $320.7 million. Earnings before interest and taxes were up 41 percent to $28.7 million.
The company said its 2023 sales and earnings estimates are unchanged from the guidance issued in February.
Sales are projected at $4.8 billion to $5.2 billion, which would be a decline of 7 percent to an increase of 1 percent compared with 2022. The projection assumes a low single-digit decline in sales in the bedding products and furniture, flooring and textiles products segments, coupled with a high single-digit increase in sales from the specialized products segment.
Earnings per share are projected at $1.50 to $1.90. In 2022, the figure was $2.27 per share.