24.06.04

24.6.2004: Meldung: Steelcase Inc.: Improved First Quarter Results - Robert W. Black President of Steelcase International

Steelcase Reports Improved First Quarter Results On Higher Revenue
Tuesday June 22, 7:00 am ET

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- June 22, 2004--Steelcase Inc. (NYSE:SCS - News) today reported revenue totaling $597.7 million for its first quarter ended May 28, 2004, which was in line with company estimates. Revenue for this quarter increased 7.6 percent compared to $555.6 million in the prior year quarter and was up 6.1 percent compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004.

Revenue included $15.9 million of sales from newly consolidated dealers. First quarter revenue also benefited by $11.0 million from favorable currency translation effects in the company"s International segment compared to the prior year. On a sequential quarter basis, first quarter revenue was negatively affected by $(4.4) million from currency translation effects.

"We are pleased with the revenue growth we experienced in the first quarter," said James P. Hackett, president and CEO. "Our industry is now starting to feel the effects of the positive turn in the economy. Strong job growth during the past quarter should bode well for our business. While companies focused mostly on workspace efficiency during the industry downturn, we believe that supporting worker effectiveness will become much more important as companies begin to compete for white collar workers."

Steelcase reported a net loss of $(5.7) million, or $(0.04) per share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2005, which was better than company estimates of a first quarter net loss of $(0.09) to $(0.14) per share. Reported results included net restructuring charges totaling $(3.6) million after-tax.

A number of items, which in aggregate totaled $5.9 million after-tax, favorably impacted the company"s net loss in the quarter. Some examples of these items include favorable property tax settlements, reduction of bad debt reserves related to specific customers and a gain from a customer"s prepayment of a large furniture lease.

The temporary steel surcharge implemented by North America beginning April 26 did not materially affect first quarter revenues. As anticipated in the first quarter, North America incurred $2.5 million after-tax of increased costs because of higher steel prices.

While the company anticipates its long-term effective tax rate to be approximately 37 to 38 percent, it can vary based on absolute profitability levels. Based on preliminary estimates for the year, the company used a 30 percent effective tax rate for the first quarter.

Steelcase cash balances totaled $206.0 million at the end of the first quarter, a decrease of $56.2 million from the fourth quarter. The increase in sequential quarter revenue contributed to an increase in working capital requirements. The decrease in cash was also related to typical seasonal disbursements such as retirement contributions and annual prepayments of insurance. The company"s debt was $331.4 million at the end of the first quarter, down $22.6 million from year-end because the company elected to repay some debt.

"We continued to reduce debt this quarter and have over $200 million in cash to fund the working capital we will need as we grow," said James P. Keane, chief financial officer.

Outlook

The company experienced stronger order patterns in North America and in the Steelcase Design Partnership in the first quarter, resulting in an improved backlog at quarter end. The company believes the contract furniture industry is strengthening in North America as job growth continues. Order growth from large accounts in North America was substantially higher on a year over year and sequential quarter basis. However, the company is not yet seeing similar signs in key International markets.

Steelcase expects second quarter revenue to increase 5 to 8 percent from the prior year, including approximately $15 million of revenue from the newly consolidated dealers and $7 million from the impact of the steel surcharge. On a sequential quarter basis, the company expects second quarter revenue to be 7 to 10 percent higher than the first quarter.

The company expects to report earnings between breakeven and a loss of $(0.05) per share including anticipated restructuring charges of $(3) to $(7) million after-tax in the second quarter. Steelcase is neither affirming nor updating a full year estimate but intends to continue to provide a quarterly business outlook.

Jim Hackett concluded, "Over the last three years, our efforts to restructure our operations have been balanced with new investments in R&D and product development. During the recovery, we believe we can grow faster by offering the right solutions and we feel our product portfolio is stronger today than ever before. In fact, for a second year in a row, we won more product-awards at NeoCon than anyone else in our industry. We look forward to growth in revenues and improvements in profitability that reflect the hard work the people of Steelcase have done over the last three years."

Webcast

Steelcase will webcast its conference call reviewing first quarter financial results today at 11:00 a.m. EDT. Links to the webcast are available at www.steelcase.com. Accompanying presentation slides are available on the company"s website. A replay of the webcast can be accessed on the site after the call through July 31, 2004.

About Steelcase Inc.

Steelcase Inc. helps individuals and organizations around the world to work more effectively by providing knowledge, products and services that enable customers and their consultants to create work environments that integrate architecture, furniture and technology. Founded in 1912 and headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the company has led the global office furniture industry in sales every year since 1974. Its product portfolio includes interior architectural products, furniture systems, technology products, seating, lighting, storage and related products and services. Fiscal 2004 revenue was approximately $2.3 billion. Steelcase Inc. and its subsidiaries have dealers in more than 900 locations, manufacturing facilities in over 35 locations and approximately 14,000 employees around the world. The company"s Class A Common Stock trades on the NYSE under the symbol SCS.


Contact:

Steelcase Inc.
Investor Contact: Raj Mehan, 616-698-4734
Media Contact: Lisa Kerr, 616-698-4487


Source: Steelcase Inc.


Steelcase Inc. Announces Resignation of Robert W. Black as President of Steelcase International
Monday June 21, 10:39 am ET

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., June 21 / -- Steelcase Inc. (NYSE:SCS - News) today announced that Robert W. Black, currently president of Steelcase International, is resigning from the company to assume an executive position at Sammons Enterprises Inc., a privately-held conglomerate based in Dallas, Texas. Black will remain with the company through early August and the succession plan will be announced by July 1.

"All of us at Steelcase wish Bob the very best as he begins his new venture," said Jim Hackett, CEO and president of Steelcase Inc. "Bob contributed greatly to our success at Steelcase International since assuming the presidency four years ago. We will continue to pursue the strategic goals developed by Bob and his team, including bringing even more innovation to the marketplace and simplifying the business in support of our customers and dealer partners."

Black joined Steelcase in 1994 as vice president, Corporate and Service Marketing. After holding positions as vice president of Corporate Strategy and Development, and vice president of Marketing, Black took on responsibility for the company"s European business interests as vice president, Europe in 1998. In 1999, he assumed responsibility of Steelcase"s global activities and became president of Steelcase International in 2000.

"I"m thankful to have had the opportunity over the last ten years to work with outstanding teams of men and women in my various positions at Steelcase," said Robert Black. "It was a very difficult decision to leave but I look forward to the opportunities available in this next chapter of my career."

About Steelcase Inc.

Steelcase Inc. helps individuals and organizations around the world to work more effectively by providing solutions that enable customers and their consultants to create work environments that integrate architecture, furniture and technology. Founded in 1912 and headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the company has led the global office furniture industry in sales every year since 1974. Its product portfolio includes interior architectural products, furniture systems, technology products, seating, lighting, storage and related products and services. Fiscal 2004 revenue was approximately $2.3 billion. Steelcase Inc. and its subsidiaries have dealers in more than 900 locations, manufacturing facilities in over 35 locations and approximately 14,000 employees. The company"s Class A Common Stock trades on the NYSE under the symbol SCS.


Source: Steelcase Inc.
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