ZEELAND — Despite soft sales in the beginning of its first quarter, Herman Miller Inc. reported modest sales growth over the previous year, driven primarily by an improving North American market.
The Zeeland-based office furniture manufacturer generated net sales of $598.6 million in the first quarter of its 2017 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 3. That marked a 5.9-percent increase over the same quarter in the previous year, according to the company’s earnings statement.
Herman Miller (NASDAQ: MLHR) increased sales in its North American market by 8 percent over the previous year to $365.1 million. Sales from the office furniture manufacturer’s specialty and consumer markets also increased, while sales to its European and Latin America (ELA) markets declined 5.1 percent to $97.3 million.
At the same time, the company reported net earnings of 60 cents per share, a 4-percent increase over the 56 cents per share the company earned in the same quarter the previous year.
“Despite uncertainty in the global macroeconomic environment, we were pleased that our ELA, Specialty and Consumer businesses each delivered strong organic order growth for the quarter,” CEO Brian Walker said in a statement. “While order levels in the North America segment were softer than expected at the beginning of the quarter, they showed significant improvement toward the end of the period, reflecting the project-based nature of the contract industry.”