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Larry Thomas

Leggett & Platt profit up 3.8% as sales rise 8.1%

Sales gain partly attributed to price increases
CARTHAGE, Mo. — Leggett & Platt, a major supplier of furniture and bedding components, said second-quarter profits were 3.8% higher than last year's second quarter as sales increased 8.1%.

The company said unit volume was flat across most of its business units. Much of the sales growth was the result of currency exchange rates and price increases that were implemented to recover higher costs.

Worldwide sales for the quarter totaled $945.2 million, up from $874.3 million in last year's second quarter.

Sales in the residential furnishings segment were $467.7 million, up 2.3% from the same quarter last year.

Net income totaled $54.7 million or 37 cents per share, compared with $52.7 million or 34 cents per share in the comparable period in 2010.

"Operationally, it was a reasonably good quarter," said David Haffner, president and CEO. "Gross profit improved by $2 million versus second quarter last year, despite lack of demand growth."

Haffner noted the company repurchased 2 million shares of stock during the quarter at an average price of $25.86 per share, bringing the year-to-date total to 7.4 million shares.

For the first six months of 2011, worldwide sales totaled $1.84 billion, an increase of 8.9% from $1.69 billion in the first half of 2010.

Six-month net income totaled $99.7 million or 67 cents per share. That's up from $97.8 million or 63 cents per share in the first half of last year.

Leggett & Platt also tweaked its earnings projection for the year, saying that it expects to earn
$1.25 to $1.40 per share. Earlier this year, the projection stood at $1.25 to $1.50 per share.

Sales for 2011 are projected at $3.5 billion to $3.7 billion.

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