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Volatile order environment continues to impact Steelcase in start of new fiscal year

BY Friday, June 23, 2017 03:16pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Despite an erratic environment for orders, Steelcase Inc. reported earnings on par with the previous year.

The Grand Rapids-based office furniture manufacturer closed the first quarter of its 2018 fiscal year, which ended May 26, with revenues of $735.1 million. That compares to the $718.8 million in revenue the company generated during the same quarter the previous year.However, Steelcase (NYSE: SCS) noted the majority of that earnings increase was the result of annuitizing three of its defined benefit plans.

Revenue for Steelcase’s North American market grew three percent to $535 million, aided by “a very large” project in the manufacturing sector. Revenue in the company’s “other” category, which includes the Asia Pacific market, grew 19 percent to $87 million. Meanwhile, revenue in Steelcase’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) markets fell 10 percent to $113.1 million from $125.3 million in the previous year.

Going into its second quarter, Steelcase expects the pattern of mixed orders to continue. Orders in its North American market declined 3 percent, while orders in its EMEA and Other markets increased by 6 percent and 20 percent respectively.

Steelcase expects to generate between $750 million and $780 million in the second quarter of its 2018 fiscal year. The company generated $758 million in revenue in the second quarter of its 2017 fiscal year.

Likewise, the company expects to report earnings per share between 21 cents and 25 cents in the second quarter of its 2018 fiscal year. Steelcase reported earnings per share of 31 cents the previous year.

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