Johnson Outdoors’ watercraft sales down

RACINE, Wis. – Johnson Outdoors’ total company net sales increased 9.2 percent for the quarter ended Oct. 1 as compared with the comparable quarter in the prior year, the company said in a press release today.

Its acquisition of the Humminbird brand added $5.7 million in net sales to the quarter, while related integration activities had a negative impact on operating profit, Johnson said.

“Fourth quarter results reflect the variability and unpredictability of our seasonal markets, particularly during times of economic uncertainty, coupled with adverse and unseasonable weather. Continued investment is needed to lessen the impact of soft consumer markets and ensure better, more balanced performance across our portfolio,” observed Helen Johnson-Leipold, chairman and CEO.

For the full year, Marine Electronics net sales grew 26.8 percent over the prior year as a result of above average growth in fishing motors and the addition of the Humminbird brand. Watercraft sales declined 4.9 percent versus the prior year due in part to soft markets that were further impacted by hurricanes and their aftereffects in the Southeast and other parts of the U.S., as well as unseasonably cool temperatures during the year, according to Johnson.

“We made the right choice to expand into Marine Electronics with the addition of Humminbird and to restructure the Watercraft business,” said Johnson-Leipold. “We continue to address the challenges in Diving and in balancing the Outdoor Equipment portfolio with the same commitment to strengthen the competitiveness of all of our businesses to ensure sustainable, profitable growth over the long-term.”

Johnson hosted a conference call to discuss fiscal 2004 fourth quarter and year-end results this morning. A replay will be available on www.johnsonoutdoors.com, or by dialing (800) 642-1687 and providing confirmation code 1817747. The replay will be available through Nov. 25 by phone and for 30 days on the Internet.

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