Trinity, North Carolina - Bedding manufacturer Sealy Corp. had net sales for the fiscal quarter ended 1 March 2009 of $310.0 million, a drop of $82.0 million compared to the same period in 2008. Net income for Q1 was $4.7 million, compared to net income of $16.2 million for Q1 2008.
Sealy substantially improved its operating performance compared to Q1 2008, "despite a retail environment that remained difficult both domestically and internationally," commented Larry Rogers, Sealy's president and chief executive officer, in Sealy's results statement.
Rogers said the group further reduced expenses, provided customers with value-oriented Sealy products and unveiled a new Stearns & Foster bedding line.
Gross margins improved due to the "easing of material cost inflation and the results of improved efficiencies," he said. Sealy also generated "significant cash flow over the past 12 months and reduced our net debt by $64 million," Rogers added.
He said Sealy expects market conditions to remain difficult, but that the group intends to continue to capitalise on its industry-leading position. "We are taking further measures to improve our profitability through gaining market share, improving gross margins, reducing expenses, and maximising financial flexibility," Rogers added.
Total domestic net sales for Q1 2009 were $234.8 million compared to $281.3 million in Q1 2008. International net sales decreased $35.4 million, or 32.0 percent, from Q1 2008, to $75.2 million. Excluding the effects of currency fluctuation, net sales declined 19.2 percent from Q1 2008. Sealy said this decline was primarily due to the weak retail environment in Europe, and to a lesser extent Canada.
Sealy says it is the largest bedding manufacturer in the world, with sales of $1500 million in fiscal 2008.