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Larry Thomas

Leggett & Platt earnings jump 18.6% in second quarter

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Furniture and bedding components supplier Leggett & Platt said second-quarter profits rose 18.6% despite a slight drop in sales.

The company said same-location sales declined about 2% due largely to currency rates and lower sales in its store fixtures segment and steel rod mill. Apart from those factors, same-location sales were up 2%, and the company said its strongest growth continues to come from the automotive and adjustable bed businesses.

Worldwide sales for the quarter ended June 30 totaled $938.8 million, down 0.7% from $945.2 million in last year's second quarter.

Net income was $64.9 million or 45 cents per share. That was up from $54.7 million or 37 cents per share in the same quarter a year ago. The most recent quarter included a tax benefit of 4 cents per share and 2 cents per share from discontinued operations, while last year's second quarter included a tax benefit of 2 cents per share.

Sales in the residential furnishings segment, Leggett & Platt's largest business segment, rose 1.5% to $474.7 million.

"We are pleased with the progress we continue to make," said David Haffner, president and CEO, noting that EBIT margin (earnings before interest and taxes) increased to 9.2% from 8.4% in last year's second quarter.

"EBIT improved as a result of unit volume growth in certain businesses, our fourth quarter 2011 restructuring activity and our Western Tube acquisition," Haffner added.

For the first six months of 2012, worldwide sales rose 2.4% to $1.89 billion.

Six-month net income totaled $108.9 million or 75 cents per share. That's up 9.2% from $99.7 million or 67 cents per share in the first half of 2011. The first half of this year included earnings of 2 cents per share from discontinued operations.

The company raised its earnings-per-share estimates for the year to $1.35 to $1.50. That's up from an April projection of $1.25 to $1.45 per share.

Sales for the year are projected to be $3.65 billion to $3.8 billion. The April projection was $3.65 billion to $3.85 billion.

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