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Herman Miller Cuts Dividend, Closes Plant

ZEELAND, Mich. (AP) ¿ Herman Miller Inc. said Thursday that it is reducing its quarterly dividend and consolidating manufacturing operations in an effort to strengthen its balance sheet.

The company said it is reducing its quarterly cash dividend to 2.2 cents per share from 8.8 cents. The company said the new dividend rate will save it $14 million annually.

Herman Miller also said it will close its manufacturing site in Spring Lake, Mich. The work handled by the Integrated Metal Technologies subsidiary there will be moved to other newer, larger facilities in the area, the company said.

The site will close by spring of 2010 and Herman Miller anticipates a cost of $9 million to $12 million tied to its closure, but it expects operational savings of $5 million to $7 million each year.

Herman Miller said the moves allow the company to free up resources for its strategic priorities.

Shares of Herman Miller were up 40 cents to $12.90 in late afternoon trading Thursday.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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