Net sales up 9 percent for Johnson Outdoors

RACINE, Wis. – Net sales in the fourth quarter for Johnson Outdoors Inc., increased 9 percent to $87.7 million, compared to $80.3 million, for the prior year quarter, the company reported in a recent release.

Johnson Outdoors also reported its full-year results and said it had record annual net sales of $432.1 million compared to $395.8 million for fiscal 2006, representing 9 percent growth year-over-year. Net income for the year was $9.2 million ($1.00 per diluted share), a 6 percent increase compared to $8.7 million in the prior year.

Johnson Outdoors net income for the quarter, ended Sept. 28, was $1.5 million ($0.16 per diluted share) versus a net loss of $0.9 million ($0.10 per diluted share) for the prior year quarter.

The company said that while its fourth-quarter results historically reflect a loss due to the slowing of sales and production of the company’s seasonal outdoor recreation products, innovation and growth in key markets continued to drive growth in the company’s core consumer brands during the quarter.

Johnson reported that its Marine Electronics Group revenues surged 30.4 percent ahead of last year’s fourth quarter on the strength of Humminbird Side-Imaging technology and Minn Kota Terrova, which the company called the most successful trolling motor launch in its history.

However, Johnson also said its watercraft revenues compared unfavorably to last year’s record fourth quarter due largely to a shift in customer order pacing versus the prior year.

The company reported net earnings during the seasonally slow fourth quarter of $1.5 million, or $0.16 per diluted share, a $2.4 million improvement over the net loss of $0.9 million, or $0.10 per diluted share, in the prior year quarter.

Johnson cited several factors that helped it achieve its record net sales, including, “strong new product introductions and marketing programs in Marine Electronics which drove a 20 percent increase in group net sales over the previous year,” and “double-digit growth in key international markets led to a 3 percent increase in Watercraft sales for the year.”

“Our strategic growth plan is generating outstanding topline momentum through continuous innovation, targeted acquisitions and geographic expansion as new products, new brands and European growth were key drivers of increased fiscal 2007 revenues,” said Helen Johnson-Leipold, chairman and CEO, Johnson Outdoors Inc. “Importantly, this year we invested in building capability to deliver sustained profitable growth in the future. An in-depth look at the outdoor recreational universe helped focus and prioritize opportunities to expand our footprint in the marketplace. Innovative new media and marketing efforts cultivated enhanced customer and consumer relationships. And, supply chain optimization analyses revealed how to better leverage assets and significantly improve profitability going forward.”

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