Johnson Outdoors reports 4Q and year-end results

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Johnson Outdoors announced double-digit growth in operating profit on higher revenue and a 90 percent improvement in net income year-over-year for fiscal 2013, giving the company its highest operating profit in more than 20 years.

Total company net sales increased 3.4 percent to $426.5 million in fiscal 2013, compared with $412.3 million in fiscal 2012, because of record sales in marine electronics and growth in outdoor gear, which more than offset lower revenue in other units.

Net income for the year was $19.3 million, or $1.95 a diluted share, compared with $10.1 million, or $1.03 a share, in the prior fiscal year.

For the ninth consecutive year, new products represented a third or more of total company sales.

Watercraft sales were 13 percent below the prior year. The company said the unfavorable comparison was attributable to a continued de-emphasis of low-margin product lines and lower sales in Europe, where the company closed its watercraft operations.

The company announced its earnings report for the fourth quarter Friday, saying it had historically low debt with $55.7 million in cash at the end of the fiscal year.

The company reported a fourth-quarter loss of $3.5 million, or 40 cents a diluted share, compared with a loss of $3.2 million, or 32 cents a diluted share, in the prior year’s quarter. Sales for the quarter totaled $77.3 million, up from $74.8 million for the quarter a year earlier.

The company said its fourth-quarter results historically reflect an industrywide slowing of sales and production because of the seasonality of the warm-weather outdoor recreational products industry.

“Fiscal 2013 results reflect continued progress toward our long-term goal of sustained profitable growth. Investments in innovation and strategic acquisitions once again drove growth in the marketplace against fierce competition for the outdoor enthusiast’s discretionary dollars,” chairman and CEO Helen Johnson-Leipold said in a statement.

“Looking forward, more work lies ahead to achieve a better balance of profitability across our portfolio,” she said. “Our 2015 strategic plan is focused on sustaining leadership in fishing electronics, gaining share in core dive equipment segments and improving performance in key paddling and camping specialty channels. To do so, we will be strategic and disciplined in efforts to strengthen the profitability profile of our businesses and deliver meaningful value plus to all our stakeholders.”

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