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Mohawk Posts First-Quarter Loss

Reduced demand and restructuring charges resulted in a first-quarter net loss at Mohawk Industries of $106 million, or $1.55 per share.

The results for the quarter ended March 28 include a $122 million charge for a discontinued carpet tile backing operation, a $62 million first-in first-out related to inventory flow and a $4 million restructuring cost.

We do not see a catalyst for a significant change in the overall flooring category in the near term, the company said in its announcement. During the quarter, Mohawk cut production in four operating units, reduced warehouse space by 1 million square feet and eliminated some 2,000 jobs to rein in costs.

Chairman and ceo Jeffrey Lorberbaum noted Mohawk generated $38 million in operating cash flow during the quarter — $118 million more than in first quarter 2008. "Working capital improved with inventories declining $183 million during the quarter. The balance sheet remains strong with a cash balance of $137 million and credit availability of more than $800 million, he said.

Sales during the quarter fell 30% to $1.2 billion.

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