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Apparel segment sales up 9% at Bauer in Q3 FY'12

12
Apr '12
Bauer Performance Sports Ltd. announced its unaudited financial results for the third quarter and nine months ended February 29, 2012.

The 24% increase in overall revenues in the nine months of fiscal 2012 was led by strong performance in ice hockey equipment, including the VAPOR family of skates and composite sticks. Bauer continues to see solid performance in both its lacrosse and apparel product categories, which have delivered year over year revenue increases of 41% and 25%, respectively.

Revenues from the North American market grew by 22% in the nine month period ended February 29, 2012 compared to the same period last year, while sales outside North America grew by 30% in the same period. Third quarter revenues grew by 7% due to strong growth in ice hockey equipment (14%) and apparel (9%). Revenues from the North American market were up 1% while sales outside North America were up 28% in the third quarter.

The Company's third fiscal quarter falls between the major shipping months of its two selling seasons, "Back-to-Hockey" and "Holiday". Bauer historically generates its lowest quarterly revenues and negative earnings per share during the third quarter of each fiscal year.

Adjusted Gross Profit as a percentage of revenues was 37.4% for the nine month period ended February 29, 2012 compared to 38.3% in the nine month period ended February 28, 2011. During the third quarter, Adjusted Gross Profit as a percentage of revenues decreased to 30.1% from 34.5%.

The decline in Adjusted Gross Profit as a percentage of revenues during the nine month period is primarily due to the growth in composite stick sales which have lower gross profit margins compared to our other ice hockey categories, in part due to higher warranty expenses associated with composite sticks. The decline in the three month period reflects the impact from higher sales of close-out products, higher composite stick sales, and certain higher product costs.

Bauer continues to demonstrate operating leverage in SG&A where spending as a percentage of revenues has declined 260 and 250 basis points in the three and nine month periods ending February 29, 2012, respectively. Combined with the benefit from lower interest rates under the Company's credit facility, Adjusted Net Income grew by 76% in the nine month period of fiscal 2012 to $20.8 million and Adjusted EPS increased 74%, or $0.28 to $0.66, compared to the same period last year. In the third quarter, Adjusted Net Loss improved by 10% to $4.4 million and Adjusted EPS improved by 13% to a loss of $0.14 per share.

Bauer also announced that booking orders for its 2012 Back-to-Hockey season increased by 12% over the 2011 Back-to-Hockey season to $207.3 million. Without the impact of fluctuating foreign exchange rates, Back-to-Hockey booking orders increased 14% over the prior year.

Bauer's revenues are comprised of booking, repeat and other orders. Although booking orders provide the Company some visibility into its future revenues for the season, there may not be a direct relationship between the change in booking orders year over year and the anticipated total revenues change for that season, due to several factors including, among others, the potential impact booking orders have on the amount and timing of future repeat orders for which the Company has little visibility. For a more detailed discussion and definition of Bauer's booking and repeat orders, please see the Outlook section of the Company's third quarter MD&A, which are available on SEDAR.


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