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Dec 12, 2008

Furniture Brands to lay off 1,400

Furniture Brands announced plans Thursday to eliminate 1,400 jobs across all functions, a decrease of 15 percent of the company’s domestic work force.

None of the cuts are in St. Louis, said John Hastings, a company spokesman. The layoffs will occur at plants in North Carolina and Mississippi, he said.

The cuts include management and hourly workers and will save the company $20 million a year.

Severance costs associated with the reductions are expected to total between $8 million and $9 million, most of which will be reflected in the company’s fourth-quarter financial results.

Chief Executive Ralph Scozzafava said the cuts are an “inevitable response” to the slumping furniture sales environment and recessionary economy.

“By aligning our costs with anticipated lower sales volumes, we are positioning the company for 2009 and beyond,” he said in the announcement.

“With the eventual return of historical consumer spending patterns, Furniture Brands will be well positioned to leverage our more efficient cost base into improved profitability.”

Furniture Brands reported a net loss of $41.7 million in the third quarter of this year, following a loss of $23.9 million in the second quarter.

St. Louis-based Furniture Brands International Inc. (NYSE: FBN) manufactures furniture under the Thomasville, Henredon, Drexel Heritage, Maitland-Smith, Pearson, Laneventure, Broyhill and Lane brands.

Source : StLouisBizJournal
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