TRINITY, N.C.–The divestiture of manufacturing operations in Europe and discontinued manufacturing in Brazil led to a $4.5 million net loss for Sealy in the fourth quarter, which ended on Nov. 28.
These moves hurt the mattress manufacturer’s bottom line to the tune of more than $7.9 million, and contrasted to net income of $2.6 million in the fourth quarter of last year. Counting only continuing operations, Sealy’s fourth-quarter net would have increased by 24 percent, thanks to the company’s efforts at reducing expenses and increasing operational efficiencies.
These initiatives slimmed selling, general and administrative expenses by 5.5 percent on a dollar basis and 207 basis points as a percentage of sales to 33.4 percent. Also, they boosted gross margin by 35 basis points to 41.4 percent. Net sales in the quarter edged up 0.4 percent to $296.6 million, which included a dropoff of 3.6 percent in U.S. sales.
For the fiscal year as a whole, Sealy reported a net loss of $13.7 million, again owing to the discontinued operations, as opposed to net income of $13.5 million in the prior fiscal year. Factoring continuing operations only, income rose 7.9 percent to $24.7 million. Net sales for the fiscal year increased 3.8 percent to $1.2 billion.