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Columbia Sportswear expects slower growth in 2012

Feb '12
Columbia Sportswear Company announced net sales of $526.1 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2011, a 15 percent increase compared with net sales of $457.3 million for the same period in 2010. Changes in currency exchange rates contributed less than 1 percentage point to the net sales increase.

Fourth quarter net income increased 40 percent to $36.7 million, or $1.08 per diluted share, compared with net income of $26.2 million, or $0.77 per diluted share, for the same period in 2010.

Full year 2011 net sales increased $210.5 million, or 14 percent, to a record $1.694 billion, including a 3 percentage point benefit from changes in currency exchange rates, while net income increased 34 percent to $103.5 million, or $3.03 per diluted share, compared to net income of $77.0 million, or $2.26 per diluted share for 2010.

Timothy P. Boyle, Columbia's president and chief executive officer, commented, "In 2011, we achieved many of the financial and operational goals we set at the beginning of the year, despite unfavorable weather and a challenging macro-economic backdrop. Net sales grew 14 percent with double-digit growth from our Columbia, Sorel and Mountain Hardwear brands, as well as from each of our international regions. That growth allowed us to improve the company's profitability, generating operating margin of 8.1 percent of sales compared with 7.0 percent in 2010."

Boyle continued, "We believe our brands continue to gain strength in the market; however, our business is not fully insulated from the effects of this year's unusually warm winter globally, or from the macro-economic challenges that continue to cloud the European and U.S. marketplaces. Due to those factors, we have built our preliminary outlook for 2012 around low single-digit sales growth, compared with the 19 percent and 14 percent growth that we achieved in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

"As a disciplined response to these slower growth assumptions, we have begun implementing a number of measures designed to limit full year 2012 expense growth to a rate that is comparable to our anticipated sales growth."

Boyle concluded, "We remain committed to investing in innovation, enhanced design and compelling marketing across our brand portfolio, and information technology that we need to improve the company's operational and supply chain capabilities and, ultimately, our profitability."

Net sales increased $68.8 million, or 15 percent, fueled by a $51.5 million, or 14 percent, increase in Columbia brand net sales to $416.5 million; a $13.8 million, or 27 percent, increase in Sorel brand net sales to $64.3 million; and a $3.4 million, or 9 percent, increase in Mountain Hardwear brand net sales to $43.2 million.

Net sales of Footwear increased $23.5 million, or 23 percent, to $126.1 million; Outerwear net sales increased $22.9 million, or 11 percent, to $228.8 million; Sportswear net sales increased $18.1 million, or 15 percent, to $137.4 million; and Accessories & Equipment net sales increased $4.3 million, or 15 percent, to $33.8 million.

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