Herman Miller

(MLHR) - Get Report

said its fourth-quarter profit rose 15.7%, led by higher sales.

The Zeeland, Mich.-based office furniture maker earned $25 million, or 38 cents a share, in the quarter ended June 3, compared with $21.6 million, or 31 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 38 cents a share.

Fourth-quarter revenue rose 9% to $444.1 million, beating the analyst expectation of $443.8 million.

For the first quarter, the company expects earnings of 38 cents a share to 42 cents a share, on revenue of $435 million to $455 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expect earnings of 40 cents a share on revenue of $455.8 million.

Orders in the quarter were $441.7 million, up 4.9% from last year.

Gross margin increased 90 basis points to 34% as higher fuel and raw material costs were offset by higher volume and the benefit of prior pricing actions.

"Our customer visits are up, our large project business is up, and we continue to be delighted by the performance of our international business," the company said. "While we share others' concerns for the general economy, we feel that our strategic direction and new product introductions have us moving toward achieving our top-line goals."

The company's stock closed at $27.72, down 33 cents, or 1.2%, Wednesday.

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