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Russell Corp sales grows 10.5% in 2005, Q4 profit rises

Feb '06
Sporting goods company Russell Corporation has reported fiscal 2005 fourth quarter sales of $354.6 million, an increase of 6.2 percent over the $334 million reported in the same period a year ago.

The company has reported earnings of $11.8 million, or $0.36 per diluted share, versus $0.31 per diluted share reported in the fourth quarter of 2004. Net income in the fourth quarter of 2005 was impacted by a tax benefit in the quarter.

Sales for the quarter ended December 31st 2005 included $27 million in incremental sales from Brooks, the only acquisition owned for less than a year. Beyond Brooks, sales gains were strongest in the Artwear business, which experienced growth in the quarter in the mid-teens.

Gross profit for the fourth quarter of 2005 was $99.9 million, or a 28.2 percent gross margin as a percent of sales, versus a gross profit of $97.1 million, or a 29.1 percent gross margin, in the prior year. The positive impact of increased unit volumes in Artwear and higher margins associated with Brooks was generally offset by a shift in product mix and increased year-over-year costs for polyester, transportation and energy. Losses at Huffy Sports also negatively affected results.

During the quarter, the company recognized the majority of its profits in lower tax countries. It benefited from significantly improved profitability in its RLA Manufacturing subsidiary, responsible for the management of Russell's Latin American manufacturing operations.

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