ZEELAND, Mich. - Sales for contract furniture manufacturer and retailer Herman Miller, Inc.rose nearly 6 percent for the first quarter of its fiscal 2017 year.
 
It got an added boost because the period, which ended September 3, 2016, included 14 weeks of operations instead of a standard 13-week period. The additional week aligns Herman Miller's fiscal year with the calendar months.
 
Net sales in the quarter totaled $598.6 million, with new orders for future delivery totaling $595.6 million up 5.7 percent - suggesting continued momentum for future quarters.  
 
"While order levels in the North America segment were softer than expected at the beginning of the quarter, they showed significant improvement toward the end of the period, reflecting the project-based nature of the contract industry," said Brian Walker, CEO.  
 
"Our results demonstrate the balanced nature of our business model," Walker said. "We were also very pleased to see further improvement in our consumer business segment, which posted year-over-year growth in sales and orders," he said, referring to business that includes Design Within Reach, a consumer retailer acquired in 2014.
 
Consumer furniture sales were about $75 million for the period, including online sales and Design Within Reach - up about 25 percent. Herman Miller forecast net sales in the second quarter  to be in the range of $580 million to $600 million, about 2.5 percent ahead of the year prior.   

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