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Knoll sales, profit beat expectations in 2nd qtr

EAST GREENVILLE, Pa. (AP) -- Knoll Inc. on Wednesday reported a nearly 40 percent drop in its second-quarter net income after higher spending to improve its long-term outlook hurt sales and profit for the period.

The East Greenville, Pa., furniture company still managed beat market expectations.

Knoll earned $7.9 million, or 17 cents per share, for the quarter that ended June 30. That is down nearly 40 percent from the $13.1 million, or 28 cents per share, earned in the same quarter last year.

Its revenue fell 3 percent to $214.3 million from $221 million due to weaker sales in its office and studio segments. Sales in its coverings, or textiles, business increased nearly 4 percent on improved sales at its leather subsidiary.

Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting the company would earn 16 cents per share on revenue of $211.7 million.

Gross margins edged down to 32.6 percent from 33.7 percent year over year, as it had to lower prices in its office segment to remain competitive.

Knoll also reduced its debt by $5 million during the period, leaving it with long-term debt of $188 million.

Shares increased during the day but closed unchanged at $15.50. The company's stock remains in the middle of its 52-week trading range of $12.96 to $18.96.