Stewart Enterprises, Inc. : Stewart Enterprises Announces Organizational Restructure, Workforce Reduction
04/11/2012| 10:47am US/Eastern
CONTACT: Thomas M. Kitchen FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Stewart Enterprises, Inc.
1333 S. Clearview Parkway
Jefferson, LA 70121
STEWART ENTERPRISES ANNOUNCES ORGANIZATIONAL RESTRUCTURE,
JEFFERSON, La.-April 11, 2012-Stewart Enterprises, Inc.
(Nasdaq GS:STEI) announced today a restructuring of its
organization following a comprehensive evaluation to identify
in-Class sales practices and additional opportunities to
further integrate operations and sales. The Company also
announced a reduction of its workforce by approximately 60
employees, primarily in corporate support services.
"The restructuring of the organization and workforce
reduction are each expected to result in more than $5 million
in annual savings, for a total of more than $10 million in
annual savings, which will be realized in part in fiscal year
2012 and in full in fiscal year 2013," said Thomas M.
Kitchen, President and Chief Executive Officer, adding, "We
believe these changes will enhance our customers'
experiences, increase employee satisfaction and productivity,
and lead to improved sales and margins."
The organizational changes involve a restructure of the sales
organization and realignment of the Company's geographic
regions and regional management. There is now one regional
vice president responsible for operations and sales in each
region. "Uniting funeral and cemetery operations and sales
employees under one regional leader brings better consistency
and integration of resources, and improves our ability to
serve families," said Kenneth G. Myers, Jr., Executive Vice
President of Operations and Sales.
The restructure of the Company's sales organization focuses
on providing more efficient and effective sales strategy,
management, mentoring, training and recruiting. The new
organization reduces the layers of sales management and is
designed to provide increased opportunities for sales
counselors. The majority of the restructuring will take place
within the next 60 to 120 days. "We have carefully planned
the sales restructure, working with a sales management
consulting firm with expertise in sales force design. By
comparing our sales organization to
those considered Best-in-Class, we determined changes we
needed to make to be truly Best-in-
Class ourselves," added Myers.
Separate from the changes related to the sales organization,
Stewart assessed many functions within its corporate support
services. "As a result of this organizational change, as well
as our investments in technology, we have been able to
streamline our business processes. As a result, we have
eliminated approximately 60 positions," stated Kitchen.
These changes will result in a charge of approximately $2
million to $3 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2012
consisting primarily of approximately $1 million in
separation pay and termination benefits to be paid in cash
over approximately the next 60 days and up to an estimated $2
million in other non-cash asset impairments associated with
the sales restructuring.
Founded in 1910, Stewart Enterprises, Inc. is the second
largest provider of products and services in the death care
industry in the United States, currently owning and operating
218 funeral homes and 141 cemeteries. Through its
subsidiaries, the Company provides a complete range of
funeral and cremation merchandise and services, along with
cemetery property, merchandise and services, both at the time
of need and on a preneed basis.
This press release includes forward-looking statements that
are generally identifiable through the use of words such as
"believe," "expect," "intend," "plan," "estimate,"
"anticipate," "project," "will" and similar expressions.
These forward-looking statements rely on assumptions,
estimates and predictions that could be inaccurate and that
are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause
actual results to differ materially from our goals or
forecasts. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not
limited to: the risks of unexpected consequences from our
organizational restructuring and workforce reduction,
including lower sales and margin increases than projected or
less cost savings than projected, lower employee productivity
than anticipated and other risks and uncertainties described
in our Form 10-K for the year ended October 31, 2011, filed
with the SEC. We disclaim any obligation or intent to update
or revise any forward-looking statements in
order to reflect events or circumstances after the date of