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Herman Miller 1Q Profit Falls 75 Pct As Sales Drop

ZEELAND, Mich. (AP) ¿ Office furniture maker Herman Miller Inc. said Wednesday its fiscal first-quarter profit tumbled 75 percent as the economic slump drove a sharp drop in sales.

The Zeeland, Mich.-based company earned $8.4 million, or 14 cents per share, in the three months that ended Aug. 29. That's well below the $33.4 million, or 60 cents per share, it earned a year earlier.

But the company's adjusted profit of 22 cents per share beat analysts' average estimate of 19 cents per share, according to a Thomson Reuters poll. Herman Miller said it recorded costs for restructuring and a debt tender offer during the quarter.

Revenue fell 32 percent to $324 million from $479.1 million, just shy of analysts' $326 million forecast.

"While we are still facing economic headwinds, our results this quarter are encouraging on several fronts," said Chief Financial Officer Greg Bylsma, in a statement. "The rate of decline in order levels has slowed over the past two quarters and we are seeing continued signs of stabilization in market demand."

Herman Miller shares rose 61 cents, or 3.3 percent, to close at $19.15 on Wednesday before the results were announced.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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