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Johnson Outdoors reports 2Q results

Johnson Outdoors Inc. reported double-digit increases in sales and earnings for its second quarter and the six-month period that ended March 31.

Second-quarter net sales surged 12 percent, to $149.8 million, from $134.2 million in the prior-year quarter, driven by strong new-product momentum in the company’s fishing and watercraft recreation businesses.

The company said strong demand for new products in Minn Kota and Humminbird powered a 16 percent year-over-year increase in the fishing category.

"Excitement in the market for Johnson Outdoors’ innovative new product lineup is giving us a great start to the year and positioning our brands for continued growth and success,” said Johnson Outdoors chairman and CEO Helen Johnson-Leipold in a statement.

“Importantly, we are leveraging the unique combination of pioneering technologies in our Minn Kota and Humminbird brands to maximize the growth potential of our fishing business,” Johnson-Leipold added. “Watercraft recreation sales are outpacing the competition to sustain a profitable growth trajectory, and we are beginning to see the benefit of our efforts to reinvigorate innovation in diving.”

Operating profit for the second quarter was $20.5 million, a 35 percent increase from $15.1 million in the quarter last year.

The company said gross margin improved to 43.3 percent because of a favorable mix and improved operating efficiency in all units. Operating expense during the quarter increased 12 percent year over year primarily because of higher volume-related costs.

Net income for the quarter was $14 million, or $1.39 a diluted share, increasing 50 percent from $9.3 million, or 93 cents a share, last year.

Fiscal 2017 year-to-date net sales advanced 11 percent, to $243.5 million, from $219.5 million in the same fiscal six-month period last year.

Total company operating profit increased 47 percent, to $20.9 million, from $14.2 million in the first six months of the prior fiscal year. Gross margin during the first six months of this fiscal year improved to 41.7 percent from 40.2 percent last year.

“Ongoing focus and investment against our three key strategic plan priorities — richer consumer insights, enhanced innovation processes and digital sophistication — are essential to ensure continued progress toward our goal of delivering accelerated sustained profitable growth,” Johnson-Leipold said.

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