Leggett & Platt posts fourth quarter and full year sales decline

Diversified furniture components manufacturer Leggett & Platt has reported a decline in fourth quarter and full year sales.

According to its latest trading update, Q4 2023 sales fell 7% to $1.1bn against the same period in 2022. Volume was down 3%, primarily from demand softness in residential end markets, partially offset by growth in automotive and industrial end markets within its Specialized Products segment.

Within its segments, Bedding Products sales fell 14%, as volume decreased 6% from continued demand softness in U.S. and European bedding markets, partially offset by higher trade sales in Steel Rod. Furniture, Flooring & Textile Products saw sales decrease 6%, with volumes down 4%.

Fourth quarter EBIT was a loss of $367m, down $458m from fourth quarter 2022 EBIT.

As for its full year 2023 performance, total sales fell 8% to $4.7bn, with volume also down 6% from demand softness in residential end markets. 2023 EBIT was a loss of $90m, down $575m from 2022.

Within its segments for the full year, Bedding Products sales fell 17%, as volume decreased 8%. Furniture, Flooring & Textile Products saw sales decrease 11%, with volumes also down 11%.

On 16 January, the group announced a restructuring plan to be implemented in its Bedding Products segment and to a lesser extent, in its Furniture, Flooring & Textile Products segment. More on this can be read here.

President and CEO Mitch Dolloff commented: “2023 was another challenging year for residential end markets as our Bedding Products and Furniture, Flooring & Textile Products segments faced ongoing weak market demand. Encouragingly, our Specialized Products segment benefited from sustained demand strength as industrial end markets continue to recover post-pandemic.

“On January 16, we announced a restructuring plan primarily impacting our Bedding Products segment. We are taking actions to create a more focused, agile organization with a portfolio of products and an operating footprint aligned with the markets we serve. Looking forward, these initiatives are expected to enable us to advance key product growth, improve profitability, and create enhanced value for our customers and shareholders.

“Our 2024 guidance reflects continued soft residential end market demand. Our actions to improve operating efficiency across our businesses, drive cash flow, and execute our restructuring plan will allow us to navigate the challenging near-term environment and better position us for long-term success. We are focused on maintaining our investment grade credit rating and managing debt leverage while balancing continued investment in our business for future growth and our dividend track record.”

Looking ahead, the group forecasts 2024 sales to be in the region of $4.35–$4.65bn, -2% to -8% versus 2023.

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