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Herman Miller 1st-quarter income slides 19 percent

ZEELAND, Mich. (AP) -- Office furniture and accessories maker Herman Miller Inc. said Wednesday its net income sank 19 percent in the fiscal first quarter due to expenses connected to changes made to its pension plan for U.S. employees and restructuring costs.

The company is ending its defined benefit pension plan for U.S. retirees and replacing it with a defined contribution plan. Herman Miller also reported lower demand from Europe and said its revenue was hurt by the weaker euro.

The company said its specialty and consumer business did well, and it reported better sales in Asia and Latin America. Commercial orders from North American customers improved, but demand from the federal government and health care customers decreased.

Shares of Herman Miller lost $1.52, or 7.5 percent, to $18.79 in aftermarket trading following the release of the earnings report. The stock was unchanged at $20.3 in the regular trading session.

Herman Miller said its net income fell to $20 million, or 34 cents per share, from $24.6 million, or 42 cents per share. Excluding one-time charges like the restructuring and retirement plan costs, the company said it earned 38 cents per share in the quarter ended Sept. 1.

Revenue declined 2 percent, to $449.7 million from $458.1 million, partly because the year-ago quarter was a week longer than the most recent quarter.

Analysts expected Herman Miller to report adjusted net income of 39 cents per share and $455.1 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

The company also said new orders fell 6 percent to $452 million.

Herman Miller said it expects to report net income of 37 cents to 41 cents per share in the second quarter, excluding one-time items. It forecast $445 million to $465 million in revenue.

Analysts expect adjusted net income of 42 cents per share and $472.8 million in revenue on average.