Johnson Outdoors reports 4Q, year-end results

Johnson Outdoors said today that it had double-digit net income growth on slightly higher sales for fiscal 2016.
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Johnson Outdoors said today that it had double-digit net income growth on slightly higher sales for fiscal 2016.

A strong performance through the first nine months more than offset lower fourth-quarter results, the company said.

Total company net sales for the year that ended Sept. 30 increased 1 percent to $433.7 million from $430.5 million in the previous fiscal year.

Operating profits grew 28 percent to $22.9 million from $17.9 million in the prior fiscal year, primarily because of higher volume and improved gross margins. Non-cash goodwill impairment charges of $6.2 million in the current year were more than offset by a $9.9 million improvement in legal expenses year over year.

Net income for the fiscal year rose 27 percent to $13.5 million, or $1.34 a diluted share, from $10.6 million, or $1.06 a share, in fiscal 2015.

Total company sales in the fourth quarter were $74.9 million, compared with $85.7 million in the prior year. The company said a shift in orders that was attributable to a planned product-line technology restage in Marine Electronics and a $4 million-plus decline in non-core military tent sales in Outdoor Gear led to the unfavorable quarter-over-quarter comparison.

The company said it had a fourth-quarter operating loss of $4.9 million, compared with an operating profit of $1.1 million in the prior-year quarter, primarily because of lower sales volume.

The company had a fourth-quarter net loss of $2.1 million, or 21 cents a diluted share, compared with income of $1.2 million, or 12 cents a share, in the quarter last year.

Fiscal 2016 highlights included record sales for Minn Kota and Jetboil; 2017 new products earning industry awards; watercraft sustaining a profitable growth trajectory; net cash at an all-time high while debt was at a record low; and the maintenance of a strong balance sheet and quarterly dividend.

"Performance this year reflects how important innovation is in our ability and capacity to deliver sustained long-term profitable growth,” Johnson Outdoors chairman and CEO Helen Johnson-Leipold said in a statement.

New products, such as the Minn Kota Riptide Ulterra, Humminbird Helix series of fishfinders, Old Town Predator fishing kayaks and Jetboil Genesis cooking system drove strong consumer demand during the year, she said.

“Continued strong performance of our fishing and watercraft recreation businesses is key as we work aggressively to reposition our Eureka! brand for success with new camp consumer targets and advance innovation in diving for Scubapro,” Johnson-Leipold said.

"Looking forward, our long-term plan focuses on elevating our businesses to the next level of success through enhanced consumer intimacy, transformative digital sophistication and world-class innovation processes. Targeted, strategic investments against these priorities will continue over the next two years, with the goal of delivering accelerated profitable growth in the future," she said.

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