Net loss increases for Johnson Outdoors

RACINE, Wis. – Double-digit increases in marine electronics revenues and watercraft sales helped Johnson Outdoors Inc., boost its net sales 6.4 percent for the 2008 first quarter ended Dec. 28, to $76.0 million from $71.4 million for the prior year quarter, the company said in a release today.

However, Johnson’s net loss from continuing operations of $3.6 million, or ($0.40) per diluted share for the first quarter of 2008, compared unfavorably to a net loss from continuing operations of $1.3 million, or ($0.14) in the prior year quarter.

Marine electronics revenues were 12.9 percent ahead of last year due to growth in Humminbird and export sales, and watercraft sales increased 17.3 percent over the prior year quarter due to positive response to new products in the paddle sports segment, Johnson said.

Total company operating loss from continuing operations during what Johnson called “the seasonally slow first quarter” was $4.6 million compared to an operating loss of $2.2 million in the prior year quarter. Key drivers behind the unfavorable comparison were:

  • Lower military sales
  • Lower margins in marine electronics driven primarily by both unfavorable product and geographic mix
  • Lower margins in diving due in part to cost increases from imported goods to the U.S. market.
  • Total net loss for the quarter was $4.7 million compared to $1.6 million in the prior year.

    “We enter 2008 with our long-term strategic growth plan on target, working hard to deliver on its cornerstones of winning innovation, targeted acquisitions and geographic expansion. Our healthy balance sheet and solid cash position gives us the financial flexibility to move forward aggressively with our plans,” said Helen Johnson-Leipold, chairman and CEO.

    The company will host a conference call and audio Web cast at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Jan. 25, 2008. A live listen-only web cast of the conference call may be accessed at Johnson Outdoors’ home page. A replay will be available on Johnson Outdoors’ home page, or by dialing (888) 286-8010 or (617) 801-6888 and providing confirmation code 46799788. The replay will be available through Feb. 1, 2008 by phone and for 30 days on the Internet.

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