CARTHAGE, Mo.–Leggett & Platt reported a net loss of $18 million in the fourth quarter, well below the $212.6 million posted for the fourth quarter of 2007.
The company managed to narrow its quarterly loss in spite of a 15 percent decline in sales during the period, which totaled up to $882.5 million. In a Leggett & Platt statement, David Haffner, president and chief executive officer, said the company achieved notable expense reductions through all of last year by divesting five business units, contracting its store-fixtures business unit to roughly half the size it was two years ago and reducing its spending on capital and acquisitions by 50 percent versus the prior year.
These actions improved Leggett & Platt’s results for the full year as well. The company reported net income for all of 2008 of $104.4 million, compared with a net loss for 2007 of $11.2 million, although its total sales for the year dropped 4 percent to $4.1 billion.
Haffner said the nation’s weak economy has brought “dreadful market demand,” and the company expects this to continue in 2009. It has forecast a sales decrease of 12 percent to 22 percent from 2008, with sales finishing this year between $3.2 billion to $3.6 billion. Leggett & Platt will continue its attempts to bolster its bottom line by fixing underperforming facilities, improving capacity use, reducing overhead, constraining spending and focusing on the generation of cash flow.