ZEELAND, MI - Furniture giant Herman Miller, Inc. (MLHR) sales rose 7.7% to $455.9 million during the third quarter.

While new orders rose a robust 21.4% to $464 million for the period, Herman Miller calculates that a February 3 price increase had the effect of accelerating $22 million of orders that might otherwise have been entered in the fourth quarter.

Herman Miller sees itself in a transition to a globally-focused company, and is expanding from business-to-business contract furniture sales to including consumers as a target market. This segment, Herman Miller's Specialty and Consumer segment, totaled $64.1 million, up 35.5% over last year. Most of that was from an acquisition of Maharam, a fabric business, acquired for $156 million. Without it the segment fell 16% in sales. The Geiger business is also included here.

Herman Miller reports restructuring expenses of $1.1 million as it moves to improve efficiencies within its North American sales and distribution channel and Geiger manufacturing operations with targeted workforce reductions - two shifts were merged into a single shift, according to Greg Bylsma, CFO.

Herman Miller Orders Jump as Clients Rushed To Avoid Price Hike"The business fired on all cylinders this quarter, and although uncertainty remains in the global economic and political picture, we feel good about our momentum and direction," said Herman Miller CEO Brian Walker. "The clear highlight in our results this quarter is the strong order growth across each of our business segments. Particularly encouraging is the fact that this improvement extended into areas that for some time have been headwinds to growth, including the U.S. federal government ."

Herman Miller North American sales were $293.9 million, up 3.0%; the rest of the world sales totaled $97.9 million, a 7.8% increase. Encouragingly, new orders in the rest of the world totaled $100.8 million in the third quarter, representing a year-over-year increase of 24.8%.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.