Work business grows at LaCrosse
LaCrosse Footwear, Inc., a leading provider of premium, branded work and outdoor footwear, reported results for the third quarter ended September 26, 2009.
For the third quarter of 2009, LaCrosse reported net sales of $40.8 million, up from $40.3 million in the third quarter of 2008. For the first three quarters of 2009, net sales were $96.6 million, up 4% from $92.8 million in the same period of 2008.
Net income was $2.2 million or $0.35 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2009, compared to $2.8 million or $0.43 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2008. For the first three quarters of 2009, net income was $3.2 million or $0.50 per diluted share, compared to $5.0 million or $0.78 per diluted share for the same period in 2008.
Sales to the work market were $22.1 million for the third quarter of 2009, up 14% from $19.5 million for the same period of 2008. The growth in work sales reflects continued penetration into various areas of the U.S. military. Sales to the outdoor market were $18.7 million for the third quarter of 2009, down from $20.8 million for the same period of 2008, reflecting continued softness in the overall global retail environment.
For the third quarter of 2009, gross margins were 38.6% of net sales, compared to 39.2% in the same period of 2008. The decrease in gross profit was primarily due to the impact of a greater portion of quarterly revenue coming from military delivery orders.
LaCrosse generally moderated its operating expense growth during the third quarter of 2009. Operating expenses were $11.8 million in the third quarter of 2009, up 5% or $0.6 million from the third quarter of 2008.
The Company continued to maintain a strong balance sheet with no debt. At the end of the third quarter of 2009, LaCrosse had cash and cash equivalents of $3.5 million. The $3.8 million year-over-year increase in inventory primarily reflects the growth in domestic production for the Company's expanded military business, as well as increased inventory for the planned build-up of certain core products for anticipated demand during the fall and winter seasons.
“We continued to grow our work business and took important steps to improve the long-term efficiency and strength of our business,” said Joseph P. Schneider, president and CEO of LaCrosse Footwear, Inc. “During the third quarter of 2009, we continued to win more business within various branches of the U.S. military, reflecting the proven durability and performance of our premium footwear in the demanding terrain of Afghanistan. While retail demand remained soft, we did see encouraging at-once demand in certain niche markets and product categories, including outdoor footwear that incorporates our new scent suppression technology.
“During the third quarter, we continued to execute our strategic initiatives and invest in our business. We completed the transition of our nationwide sales force into a dedicated in-house team, focused exclusively on the success of our brands. We have also strengthened our position with a number of major retailers and taken a strong inventory position on several core product lines in anticipation of fulfilling their growing at-once demand. We continue to leverage our talented team, powerful brands and strong balance sheet in order to grow our business and maintain operational excellence over the long term.”