New product sales buoy Johnson Outdoors fiscal 2014 results

Special to The Freeman

Dec. 5, 2014

RACINE — Well-performing new products helped to make up for a poor-performing first half of fiscal 2014 for Johnson Outdoors.

The Racine-based company that specializes in outdoor recreation equipment announced its yearly fiscal results Friday. According to Johnson Outdoors, strong market momentum of new products throughout the second fiscal six-month period nearly offset declines due to extreme weather conditions during the first fiscal six-months, while lower volume in the first half of the year and non-cash one-time charges in the second half contributed to an unfavorable comparison in operating profit.

Some of the 2014 fiscal highlights for Johnson Outdoors included record sales for flagship Minn Kota brand, watercraft business unit turns profitable and historic low debt with $70.8 million in cash at year-end.

“Despite a challenging start to the year, we once again benefitted from the power of our market-leading brands and dedication to delivering innovation to our outdoor recreation enthusiasts. Bottom-line results mask the progress made to help ensure a better balance of profitability across our portfolio in the future, notably in outdoor gear and watercraft. Our marine electronics business remains a formidable engine of profitable growth, while our work to strengthen performance in diving continues,” said Helen Johnson-Leipold, chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement.

Total company net sales were $425.4 million versus $426.5 million in the previous fiscal year, driven by 7 percent growth during the second six-month period, virtually offsetting declines during the first-six months caused by prolonged harsh winter conditions, according to the announcement.

Operating profit was $16.7 million versus $25.6 million in the prior fiscal year and net income for the fiscal year was $9.1 million, or $0.90 per diluted share, versus $19.3 million, or $1.95 per diluted share in fiscal 2013, according to the announcement.