Steelcase 1Q profit flat as sales slip, costs rise

Steelcase 1st-quarter profit unchanged as European sales slip, operating expenses increase

Associated Press

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) -- Steelcase Inc.'s fiscal first-quarter net income was unchanged as the office furniture maker's revenue slipped and operating expenses rose.

The Grand Rapids, Mich., company reported Wednesday after the market closed that it earned $13.2 million, or 10 cents per share, for the quarter that ended May 24, unchanged from the same months last year.

After adjusting for restructuring costs, it earned 13 cents per share in the most recent quarter, matching the prediction of analysts polled by FactSet.

Revenue dipped 1 percent, to $667.1 million from $675.2 million. The company said its sales were lower than expected because of the timing of shipments in the Americas and revenue shortfalls in France and Northern Europe. Analysts also predicted stronger revenue, of $689.9 million.

Operating expenses rose 5 percent, to $185.1 million.

Still, order growth in the Americas, the biggest region by revenue, was better than anticipated, said Steelcase CEO James Hackett in a statement.

Steelcase said that it expects to earn between 22 and 26 cents per share for its current quarter on revenue between $760 million and $785 million. Analysts had forecast earnings of 26 cents per share and revenue of $771.3 million for the quarter through August.

Shares of Steelcase fell 52 cents, or 3.4 percent, to $14.63 in after-hours trading. Its stock had added 13 cents to close Wednesday at $15.15. Shares are up 19 percent in 2013.

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