CARTHAGE, Mo.–Fourth quarter net income for Leggett & Platt dropped 11 percent to $31.4 million, as higher raw-materials cost offset a pickup in net sales.
The materials costs resulted in a decrease of 447 basis points in gross margin, which finished the quarter (ending on Dec. 31, 2010) at 17.6 percent. Net sales increased 4 percent to $801.9 million, and selling and administrative expenses slipped 2 percent in dollars and 67 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 10.7 percent.
For the full 2010 fiscal year, Leggett & Platt’s net income rose 58 percent to $176.6 million, on a net sales gain of 10 percent to $3.4 billion. David S. Haffner, president and chief executive officer, attributed the strong fiscal year to a recovery in demand in its customer base, including the automotive, office-furniture and retail-store-fixtures markets.
The company said it expects net sales in 2011 to finish between $3.4 billion and $3.6 billion, based on a continuing modest improvement in the U.S. economy.