Despite sales jump, Gander Mountain’s losses grow

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Sales at Gander Mountain Co., a retail network of stores for hunting, fishing, boating, camping, marine and outdoor lifestyle products and services, increased by more than 18 percent, but the company’s net losses increased as well.

The outdoors retailer reported sales of $207.7 million for the quarter ended May 3, an increase of 18.2 percent over the prior year period, but comparable store sales decreased 6.7 percent in the first quarter, according to the company. The 2008 period includes $19.7 million in direct marketing revenue due to the acquisition of Overton's in December 2007.

Net loss for the first quarter was $24.4 million, compared to a net loss of $22.8 million, in the first quarter of fiscal 2007, the company reported.

"As anticipated, first quarter results in our seasonally-smallest quarter reflect continuing economic pressure, both in the broad economy and particularly with the purchase of discretionary items. Overall, conditions eased in the first quarter of 2008 from late 2007 and our results were in line with our expectations," said Mark Baker, president and CEO.

"We have taken a conservative approach to new store openings. We have completed our 2008 opening program while increasing our emphasis on southern stores," explained Baker. "In the second quarter of fiscal 2008, we expect to benefit from the positive impact of Overton's peak marine business. The combination of cost-saving initiatives, growth in direct marketing, fewer store openings and other strategic sales initiatives will position Gander Mountain for improved performance in fiscal 2008."

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