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Wolverine reports record free cash flow
Feb '10
Wolverine World Wide, Inc. reported financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended January 2, 2010. Year-over-year growth rates noted below are impacted by one less week in 2009's fourth quarter and fiscal year than in the prior year.

Adjusting for the negative impact of foreign exchange rates, full-year revenue was $1.139 billion, a decline of 6.7% versus the prior year. Reported revenue for the full year was $1.101 billion, a decrease of 9.8% versus the prior year. Earnings per fully diluted share for the year were $1.77, after adjusting for non-recurring charges of $0.53 per share related to the Company's strategic restructuring plan, a 6.8% decrease compared to the prior year's $1.90 per share. Further adjusting earnings for a negative $0.16 per share impact from foreign exchange rates, fully diluted earnings were $1.93 per share, 1.6% above the prior year. Reported fully diluted earnings for the year were $1.24 per share.

Reported revenue for the fourth quarter was $312.5 million, a 9.7% decline versus the prior year. The quarter's reported revenue was minimally impacted by foreign exchange. Fully diluted earnings in the quarter were $0.45 per share after adjusting for $0.12 per share of non-recurring restructuring and related charges. Further adjusting for a negative foreign exchange impact of $0.11, fully diluted earnings were $0.56 per share in the fourth quarter, an increase of 14.3% compared to $0.49 in the prior year. Reported fully diluted earnings for the fourth quarter were $0.33 per share.

"We are extremely pleased with our performance in 2009, particularly considering the challenging economic environment that existed all year," said Blake W. Krueger, the Company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Bright spots in the quarter included our Retail Division, both our brick-and-mortar and e-commerce businesses, and our Merrell business. We believe the geographic, brand and distribution channel diversity of our business structure provides a competitive advantage in any economic climate.

"There were a number of other accomplishments during the year that not only contributed to our positive results, but also better positioned the Company for accelerated growth. We seamlessly integrated the Cushe and Chaco brands following their early 2009 acquisitions, and both brands exceeded our expectations for the year. We also successfully executed our strategic restructuring plan during the year, an important step forward in our goal of driving continuous improvement in every facet of the Company's operations. In addition, we added key talent throughout the organization with important strategic hires. These actions, and more, have us well-positioned to continue delivering on our most important goals – exceeding the expectations of our consumers and driving shareholder value."

Don Grimes, the Company's Chief Financial Officer, commented, "The Company's excellent financial performance in 2009 clearly demonstrates the strength of our brands, the advantages of our business model, and the discipline with which we manage the business. Throughout the year, we maintained intense focus on executing our restructuring program while continuing to invest in important brand-building initiatives and keeping tight control on discretionary spending. We are proud of the year's results, particularly while operating in such a challenging global economic environment."

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Wolverine World Wide Inc

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