Portland, OR—Columbia Sportswear may have reported a 7% drop in its fourth quarter profit late Tuesday, but the company still had plenty to boast about—beyond outfitting the U.S., Russian and Canadian freestyle ski teams at the Sochi Olympics.
For the quarter ended Dec. 31, the outdoor apparel, accessories and footwear company posted net income of $36.7 million, or $1.05 a share, compared with $39.5 million, or $1.15 a share, last year. Results for the quarter include non-cash asset impairment charge of 16 cents a share. Despite that the results beat analysts’ average estimate for 92 cents a share.
Net sales increased 6% to $533.1 million, ahead of estimates for $498.8 million in sales.
Promising New Joint Venture in China
Geographically, sales in the United States were up 12% while Europe/Middle East/Africa gained 11%. Canada posted a 16% increase in sales while Latin America/Asia Pacific declined 11%.
Net sales in apparel, accessories and equipment increased 6% to $416.0 million, and footwear net sales increased 8% to $117.1 million.
By brand, the Columbia brand reported a 7% increase to $427.8 million. Sorel brand net sales grew 17% to $66 million. And Mountain Hardwear net sales declined 13% to $37.3 million.
According to CEO/President Tim Boyle the company has seen a pick up in consumer demand. “2013 concluded with strong sales momentum. Increased consumer demand that became evident across our U.S. direct-to-consumer platform during the third quarter, well before seasonal weather arrived, has sustained through the fourth quarter of 2013 and into the first quarter of 2014,” Boyle said.
He added that the company’s wholesale customers have indicated they will be ordering broader and deeper assortments for Fall 2014.
“As a result, we expect renewed growth in our wholesale businesses, continued expansion of our global direct-to-consumer business, coupled with incremental contributions from our new joint venture in China, to drive healthy growth in sales and operating income in 2014,” Boyle added.
Besides this sales prognosis, the company’s 2014 forecast and its approved 12% increase in quarterly dividend to 28 cents a share helped send Columbia’s share up in trading today.
For 2014, Columbia forecast an increase in net sales between 15% to 17% approximately $1.93 billion to $1.97 billion. Analysts’ consensus is for $1.81 billion.