Herman Miller, Inc. thursday announced results for its third quarter ended March 4, 2017. Net sales in the quarter totaled $524.9 million, a decrease of 2.2% from the same quarter last fiscal year. New orders in the third quarter of $543.2 million were 6.8% above the prior year level.
The company estimates its most recent price increase, which became effective on February 6, 2017, had the effect of accelerating approximately $21 million of orders that would have otherwise been entered in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017. On an organic basis, which adjusts for this order acceleration as well as foreign currency translation and dealer divestitures, net sales in the third quarter increased by 0.1% and orders increased by 4.8% from the same quarter last fiscal year.
Herman Miller reported net earnings of $0.37 per share on a diluted basis in the third quarter compared to diluted earnings per share of $0.46 in the same quarter last fiscal year. Excluding the impact of certain restructuring charges and a gain from a dealer divestiture recognized in the period, adjusted earnings per share in the third quarter totaled $0.39.
Herman Miller Net earnings above expectation
Brian Walker, Chief Executive Officer, stated “While demand patterns across our business remained mixed this quarter, we were particularly pleased to see a marked improvement in the level and pacing of new orders within our North American Contract and Consumer business segments, both of which posted strong growth over the third quarter of last year. Net sales and gross margins for the quarter were within the range we anticipated coming into the period, and our teams did an outstanding job controlling operating expenses. The combination of these factors helped drive net earnings above the expectations we established back in December.”
Mr. Walker continued, “The organization is in the early phases of executing on our plan to reduce operating costs, with a target of achieving between $25 million and $35 million of annual savings over the next three fiscal years. These savings will be used to fund future growth initiatives, offset expected inflationary pressures, and improve operating leverage. We still have a lot of work to do, but our results this quarter give us confidence we have the right talent and organizational focus to achieve these objectives.”