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Friday, 21 September 2018 12:11

Steelcase, Herman Miller report strong quarterly growth

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Steelcase Inc. and Herman Miller Inc. each posted strong sales and earnings for their most recent quarters and expect growth to continue into the current period.

Zeeland-based Herman Miller (Nasdaq: MLHR) this week reported sales of $624.6 million for the first quarter of its current 2019 fiscal year. That’s up 7.6 percent from the $580.3 million in the same period a year earlier.

Herman Miller had net income of $35.8 million, or 60 cents per diluted share, versus $33.1 million, or 55 cents per diluted share, in the first quarter of the 2018 fiscal year.

Meanwhile, Grand Rapids-based Steelcase (NYSE: SCS) posted even higher sales growth.

Steelcase on Thursday afternoon reported sales of $875.8 million for the second quarter of its present 2019 fiscal year, a 13-percent increase from the $775.6 million in the same period a year ago.

Steelcase’s quarterly net income totaled $49.1 million, or 41 cents per diluted share, which compares to $36.9 million, or 31 cents per diluted share, a year earlier.

“We are proud of delivering very strong revenue and earnings growth this quarter, and we’re optimistic about the opportunities we see to drive additional growth,” President and CEO James Keane said in a statement. “We feel great about the trajectory of the business, and we intend to finish the year strong.”

Steelcase’s orders grew 9 percent for the quarter, while backlogged orders also increased 11 percent.

The company projects sales of $885 million to $915 million for the present third quarter of the 2019 fiscal year, which represents an increase of 14 percent to 18.5 percent from the same period in the prior fiscal year. Steelcase expects earnings of 28 cents to 33 cents for per share for the quarter, and $1.10 to $1.15 per share for the full year.

Herman Miller forecasts quarterly sales of $635 million to $655 million for the present second quarter of its 2019 fiscal year, an increase of 5 percent to 8 percent from the $604.6 million of a year ago, with net income of 70 cents to 74 cents per share.

“If you look at North America and you look at the macro factors that are impacting this business, I think we have a lot of things lining up in our favor. I think you see GDP growth that’s above average, you see private office construction that’s above average. The service sector employment is above average,” CEO Andi Owen said in a conference call with brokerage analysts this week to discuss quarterly results.

“CEOs in the industry are all confident. I think when you line up all the macroeconomic factors, we feel very optimistic about where this is going for the next quarter or two and beyond,” Owen said. “We see orders on a very consistent basis. So we are pretty confident about this business going forward.”

Herman Miller noted in the earnings call that an industry outlook projects sales growth of 6 percent in 2019.

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