17226 Fri, 10/23/2009 - 12:45pm
CARTHAGE, Mo.-Leggett & Platt posted third-quarter net income of $54.3 million, a dramatic 66 percent ahead of the third quarter of 2008.
The company managed this in the face of a 28 percent dropoff in net sales, which finished the quarter at $809.9 million. Expense controls provided the key; Leggett & Platt lopped off 20 percent from its selling and administrative expenses, while cost of goods sold fell 33 percent.
In a company statement, David Haffner, president and chief executive officer, said Leggett & Platt’s stronger bottom line was the result of its focus on improving margins as it attempted to ride out the economic downturn. Haffner said the company’s operating margin should finish 2009 at between 8.5 percent and 9 percent, a more than 200 basis-point improvement over last year, in spite of an expected 25 percent decline in sales. With weak demand expected to persist, Haffner said Leggett & Platt will continue to focus on boosting margins in 2010 and beyond.