HNI sales top $2.4 billion, Kimball synergy 'ahead of schedule'

MUSCATINE, Iowa — HNI Corporation achieved sales of $2.434 billion and net income of $49.2 million for the full year ended December 30, 2023. GAAP net income per diluted share was $1.09, compared to $2.94 in the prior year. Non-GAAP net income per diluted share was $2.65, compared to $2.20 in the prior year. GAAP to non-GAAP reconciliations follow the financial statements in this release.

Fourth-quarter sales of $679.8 million were up 19 percent from year-ago levels, and fourth-quarter net income was $22.7 million. GAAP net income per diluted share was $0.48, compared to $0.39 in the prior year. Non-GAAP net income per diluted share was $0.98, up from $0.63 reported in the prior-year period.

“We made outstanding progress in 2023 and finished the year on a strong note, delivering greater than 50 percent earnings growth in the fourth quarter," said Jeff Lorenger, chairman, president, and CEO. "Our Workplace Furnishings profit transformation plan continues to pay dividends and drove segment fourth-quarter operating margin to pre-pandemic levels. 

"The synergy capture associated with the Kimball International acquisition is ahead of schedule; moreover, we now expect total synergies to be $10 million higher than our initial projection. In Residential Building Products, our actions to support profitability fueled margins to near record levels despite housing market weakness. Overall, we exited 2023 a fundamentally stronger company, reflecting the power and dedication of our member-owners.”

Fourth Quarter Highlights

  • Strong earnings growth. Fourth quarter GAAP earnings per share increased 23 percent year-over-year. On a non-GAAP basis, the Corporation delivered diluted earnings per share that were 56 percent higher than the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2022 despite a 6.4 percent year-over-year organic revenue decline.
  • Significant Workplace Furnishings margin expansion. Segment GAAP operating margin expanded 410 basis points on a year-over-year basis. Excluding impacts from the Kimball International acquisition, fourth quarter non-GAAP operating profit margin for legacy HNI workplace furnishings (“Legacy Workplace”) increased 480 basis points compared to the prior-year period. Price-cost improvement, productivity gains, and benefits from recent cost savings initiatives were the primary drivers of margin expansion.
  • Kimball International solidly accretive; estimated synergies move higher. Kimball International (“KII”) added approximately $16 million to fourth quarter operating profit while generating an operating profit margin of approximately 11 percent. KII also added an estimated $0.07 to fourth quarter non-GAAP EPS. The Corporation now expects to achieve total annual cost synergies of $35 million. This is up from previous expectations of at least $25 million, which is now expected to be achieved in 2024—well ahead of the initially communicated time horizon.
  • Residential Building Products margins improve despite continued housing market weakness. Segment GAAP operating margin expanded 310 basis points year-over-year to 22.3 percent. Non-GAAP operating margin improved to 22.3 percent, a 240 basis point improvement from 19.9 percent in the year-ago period. This was despite a 13.1 percent year-over-year revenue decline. Recent cost reduction actions continued to support profitability. The segment remains well positioned for sustained long-term profitable growth. Order trends improved during the quarter, and the intermediate- to long-term demand dynamics remain encouraging for the segment.
  • Strong balance sheet further strengthened. The Corporation reduced debt by $73 million in the fourth quarter and by $162 million during the second half of 2023. As a result, the Corporation ended the fourth quarter with $436 million in total debt with a gross leverage ratio of 1.9x, as calculated by the Corporation’s lending agreements. Gross leverage is back below 2.0x only two quarters following the acquisition of Kimball International.

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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).