Investors and employees of Leggett & Platt, the Carthage-based Fortune 500 company, received good news today with the issuing of the company's annual report.
"Sales in 2004 exceeded our prior record," the report, which was filed with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, said, "and earnings increased substantially. Margins also improved for the full year. During the year, we were challenged by rapidly escalating steel costs, but we were successful in recovering most of the higher costs through selling price increases."
The company also set record sales of $5.09 billion in 2004, according to the report. "Same location sales increased from the combined effect of inflation, unit volume growth, and currency rate changes."
Net earnings were up 39 percent to $285 million, the report said, with earnings per share increasing from $1.05 in 2003 to $1.45 in 2004. Factors contributing to the increase, according to the report were:
-Gains from the company's steel rod mill
-Improvements in the Fixture and Display operations
-Gains on sales of buildings no longer used in operations