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Annual results attest to the strength of FGL's strategic plan
08
Apr '11
The Forzani Group Ltd, Canada's largest retailer of sporting goods, today reported fiscal 2011 results for the 13-week fourth quarter and 52-week annual period ended January 30, 2011.

"Our fourth quarter and annual results attest to the strength of our strategic plan and its execution over the past year," said Bob Sartor, FGL's Chief Executive Officer. "Despite significant increases in one-time and structural costs, we outperformed both our Canadian retail peer group and the North American sporting goods peer group in the key same-store sales metric, and delivered a 28% increase in EPS this past year."

"Looking to fiscal 2012, results from the start of the first quarter although strong in many categories, do not offset the previous year's strength in licensed apparel categories which were boosted by the 2010 Vancouver Olympics last year. Excluding licensed apparel, comparative store sales were in line with expectations despite poor spring weather, which we attribute to continuing execution of our strategic objectives."

Progress Against Strategic Plan

FGL has made progress during the year against its strategic plan to unify and simplify its business, expand its reach, and improve productivity. Specifically, and among other things:

During the year, FGL completed the planned consolidation of its two outdoor and lifestyle banners, Coast Mountain Sports and Atmosphere, and opened its first corporately-owned Atmosphere prototype store, in Red Deer, Alberta.

During the year, as a test, FGL opened 11 GNC performance nutrition concept shops within FGL stores in the Edmonton market as a follow up to the prior year's test in the Calgary market.

During the year, FGL added an additional 41 Nevada Bob's Golf concept shops to Sport Chek stores, and continued to close less profitable stand-alone Nevada Bob's stores. Plans for fiscal 2012 are to add an additional 19 concept shops to existing Sport Chek locations.

Based on the success of the Nevada Bob's Golf concept shops, FGL opened 27 Hockey Experts concept shops within key Sport Chek stores. These shops expand the product offering to meet the needs of "elite" level players. Plans for fiscal 2012 are to add an additional 20 concept shops to existing Sport Chek locations.

Late in the year, FGL opened its first S3 concept shop within Sport Chek. As the name suggests, the S3 concept is targeting "Surf, Skate, Snow" footwear and clothing categories by adding authentic surf and skate brands to Sport Chek's category-killer selection of snowboard brands. Plans for fiscal 2012 are to add a further 22 concept shops to existing Sport Chek locations.

FGL completed its first full year of business in its e-commerce initiative, Sportchek.ca. FGL is now able to reach customers outside its normal trading area and provide support to the estimated 70% of Canadian consumers that research their purchases online. The state of the art site contains a catalogue with more than 10,000 unique product styles and colours. The site is supported by world class e-commerce provider GSI Commerce Solutions Inc. In the coming year, FGL plans to further improve the site's consumer experience while expanding its product selection.

Subsequent to year end, FGL completed the acquisition of Toronto-based Sports International CSTS Inc, a manufacturer and distributor of team and corporate logo'd apparel. In keeping with its stated intention to extend its consumer reach, FGL plans to integrate Sportsphere into its wholesale operations and grow its sales/marketing channels across Canada.

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Forzani Group Ltd

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Courtesy: AWI

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