Leggett & Platt Q3 Net Rises 8.4 Percent Despite Sluggish Sales

Leggett & PlattCARTHAGE, Mo.-Although its sales reflected the economic uncertainties of the period, Leggett & Platt managed a gain of 8.4 percent to its third-quarter net income, which totaled $71.3 million.

Net sales in the quarter, which ended on Sept. 30, slipped 2.1 percent to $957.7 million. David Haffner, Leggett & Platt’s CEO, said the decreased sales reflected consumers’ worries over the government shutdown and its potential effect on the economy. The company’s residential furnishings division did post a 6 percent gain in sales in the quarter, thanks to higher unit volumes and price increases for carpet underlay.

Gross margin in the quarter fell 80 basis points to 20.2 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses dropped 2.1 percent in dollars and were flat as a percentage of sales, at 9.6 percent.

Leggett & Platt now expects the 2013 fiscal year to bring a sales total of $3.75 billion, compared to its previous projection of sales in the range of $3.75 billion to $3.85 billion.  This would mean a gain of 1 percent over the sales from the last fiscal year.