L&P Sales Down in 1st Quarter

Leggett & Platt Inc. said first-quarter sales fell 10% and profits tumbled 41% as the company continued to experience weak demand in its bedding and furniture-related businesses.  

L&P Sales Down in 1st Quarter. Leggett & Platt logo

Sales for the quarter that ended March 31 totaled $1.1 billion, compared with $1.2 billion in last year’s first quarter. Net income was $31.6 million or 23 cents per share in the most recent quarter, down from $53.5 million or 39 cents per share in the same quarter last year.  

Sales in the Carthage, Missouri-based company’s bedding products segment totaled $448 million — down 15% from last year’s first quarter –- due largely to soft demand in the U.S. and European bedding markets.  

The furniture, flooring and textiles products segment recorded a 9% sales decline, falling to $333 million, while the specialized products segment, which includes its automotive and aerospace businesses, had a sales decline of 1% to $315.9 million.  

“First-quarter results were in line with our expectations,” said Mitch Dolloff, president and CEO. “We are making steady progress on the restructuring plan announced in January to optimize our manufacturing and distribution footprint and remain on track to achieve our objectives within our stated timeline.” 

Dolloff added that Leggett & Platt is “taking proactive steps to ensure the long-term success of our business and deliver sustainable returns for our shareholders. Our near- to mid-term strategic priorities include strengthening our balance sheet and liquidity, improving margins by optimizing operations and our general and administrative cost structure, and positioning the company for profitable growth opportunities.” 

As a result, he said the company’s board of directors voted to cut the second-quarter dividend from 46 cents per share to 5 cents per share. The new dividend will be payable July 15 to stockholders of record June 14. 

“Over the longer term, we expect to grow our business both organically and through strategic acquisitions, while also returning cash to shareholders via a combination of dividends and share buybacks,” Dolloff added. “We are confident that the actions we are taking will better position us for the future and enhance shareholder value.” 

The company said the restructuring plan, which involves the bedding segment and furniture, flooring and textiles segment, will boost earnings before interest and taxes by $40 million to $50 million annually once it is fully implemented in late 2025.  

The company is projecting 2024 sales of $4.35 billion to $4.65 billion — a decline of 2% to 8% versus 2023. Earnings per share are projected to be 95 cents to $1.25.  

Read Leggett & Platt’s previous quarterly earnings report, Leggett & Platt Sales Decrease in 4th Quarter

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