Johnson Outdoors reports 3Q results

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Johnson Outdoors today announced lower sales and earnings for the 2011 fiscal third quarter and attributed the results to a slowdown in the recovery of the outdoor recreational market.

Growth during the first six months offset sluggish third-quarter results as year-to-date sales increased 7 percent and net earnings grew 24 percent, compared with the same nine-month period in the prior year, the company added.

"Economic and weather conditions impacted the pace of recovery in outdoor recreational markets during the third quarter. The late onset of the paddlesports and camping season coincided with a downtick in consumer spending as economic anxieties flared,” chairman and CEO Helen Johnson-Leipold said in a statement.

“Continued strong performance by our flagship marine electronics and diving brands more than offset declines in these markets during the quarter; however, U.S. federal budget gridlock led to significant declines in military sales, which drove total revenue and profits below last year's quarter,” she added. “Despite challenges during the quarter, year-to-date performance confirms our transformed business model enables us to adjust quickly to marketplace fluctuations, maintain a strong balance sheet and protect the bottom line against the backdrop of a start-stop recovery in outdoor recreational markets. As a result, we remain focused and disciplined on moving forward with our 2012 strategic plan to grow profits faster than sales.”

Total company net revenue during the third fiscal quarter, which ended July 1, was $122.5 million, a 1 percent dip from net sales of $124 million in the prior year’s quarter.

The combined impact of a weather-delayed season and an unfavorable shift in consumer discretionary spending contributed largely to an 11 percent decline in watercraft revenue. Outdoor equipment revenue declined 27 percent because of a 68 percent, or $3.4 million, reduction in military sales.

Total operating profit during the quarter was $11.8 million, compared with $13.4 million in the prior year’s quarter. The unfavorable comparison was attributable to lower sales volume, particularly declines in military sales, and increased supplier costs. Net income was $8.1 million, or 83 cents a diluted share, in the third fiscal quarter, compared with $10.4 million, or $1.09 a diluted share, in the prior year’s quarter.

Year-to-date revenue for the fiscal nine-month period was $330 million, a 7 percent increase from the prior year’s period. During the period, marine electronics revenue advanced 18 percent because of successful new product introductions in the Minn Kota, Humminbird and Cannon brands and double-digit growth in all channels and all markets.

Watercraft revenue for the nine-month period declined 10 percent because of a lackluster recovery in domestic and international paddlesports markets and channels.

Total company operating profit was $21.9 million for the nine-month period, a 22 percent increase from the prior year’s period.