Wolverine Worldwide reported record financial results for its third fiscal quarter ended September 7, 2013. The quarter included a full 12 weeks contribution from the Company's October 2012 acquisition of the Sperry Top-Sider, Saucony, Stride Rite, and Keds brands (the "PLG Acquisition").
On July 11, 2013, the Company's Board of Directors declared a two-for-one stock split, to be paid in the form of a stock dividend on November 1, 2013. .
Third quarter highlights:
- Revenue grew to a record $716.7 million, representing outstanding growth of 9.0% versus prior year pro forma revenue and growth of 103.0% versus prior year reported revenue. All three of the Company's branded operating groups contributed to the excellent revenue performance in the quarter, with the largest contributions to growth coming from the Sperry Top-Sider and Merrell brands.
- Gross margin increased 70 basis points versus the prior year to 39.9%. The gross margin improvement during the quarter was driven primarily by favorable channel mix, partially offset by foreign exchange contract losses.
- Excluding acquisition-related transaction and integration expenses in both years, fully diluted earnings per share in the quarter were $1.16, a 61.1% increase compared to $0.72 per share in the prior year's third quarter. Reported earnings per share were $1.08 in this year's third fiscal quarter compared to $0.66 in the prior year.
"The power of the Company's 16-brand portfolio, combined with strong execution of growth strategies by our team, led to an outstanding quarter," said Blake W. Krueger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
"Double-digit revenue increases across many of our brands, such as Merrell, Sperry Top-Sider, Saucony, Keds, Chaco and Cushe, helped drive the phenomenal earnings performance. Additionally, solid single-digit revenue growth in North America and excellent double-digit growth in Latin America, Asia Pacific and EMEA reflect the impressive global momentum of our business."
Don Grimes, the Company's Chief Financial Officer, commented, "We remain focused on driving growth in both revenue and profits, while diligently paying down the debt taken on to finance the PLG Acquisition last year.
"To that end, our net debt of $994.3 million at the end of the third fiscal quarter was approximately $179 million lower than on the transaction closing date last October, reflecting excellent business performance, voluntary debt repayment and continued operating discipline."