Johnson Outdoors reports earnings increase

RACINE, Wis. – Johnson Outdoors Inc. (NasdaqGM: JOUT), a manufacturer of outdoor recreation products, experienced higher earnings on lower net sales for its second fiscal quarter ended April 3, it reported in a statement today.

Net income from continuing operations of $2.5 million, or $0.27 per diluted share, compared favorably to the prior year second quarter net income of $0.8 million, or $0.09 per diluted share, it stated. Total net sales for the quarter were $106.6 million compared to $121.8 million in the prior year period.

"We have taken deliberate and decisive action over the past 12 months to minimize the impact of softer markets on operations, cash flow and the bottom line, with a clear focus on strengthening our competitiveness and profitability long-term. We feel good about where we are, and remain vigilant in our efforts to further reduce costs, improve efficiency and enhance shareholder value," said Helen Johnson-Leipold, chairman and CEO.

Total net sales declined 12.5 percent compared to the prior year quarter, due largely to economic conditions in key markets. Unfavorable currency translation had a 3.7 percent impact on total company revenues in the quarter, it reported.

Marine Electronics revenues were 4.6 percent below last year primarily due to continued weakness in domestic and international boat markets, Johnson Outdoors reported. Watercraft sales were 8.7 percent below the prior year as a result of unfavorable currency translation of 4.3 percent, scaling back of distribution to non-core channels and weak international markets, it added. Diving revenues and Outdoor Equipment sales were also down.

Despite those declines, total company operating profit of $5.8 million for the second fiscal quarter compared favorably to operating profit of $3.6 million in the prior year quarter. Key factors contributing to the favorable comparison were: aggressive cost savings initiatives, which more than offset the impact of lower sales and unfavorable product mix on margins; improved operating efficiency and strict controls resulting in a 34.5 percent reduction in net inventory levels; and bonus and profit sharing accruals of $1.8 million in the prior year quarter versus no accruals in the current quarter, according to the company.

Johnson Outdoors reported net income of $2.5 million, or $0.27 per diluted share, during the second fiscal quarter, compared to net income of $0.5 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, in the same quarter last year. Income during the prior year quarter was negatively impacted by a $1.6 million pre-tax foreign exchange loss related to the accounting treatment of U.S. dollar holdings in Switzerland, it stated.

The company also reported that, in March, it consolidated leadership of Marine Electronics and Watercraft business units under a single group vice president as part of an initiative to significantly reduce cost and complexity, optimize synergies and assets across the two operations, and dramatically improve profitability for the future.

Net sales in the first six months of fiscal 2009 were $176.4 million versus $197.8 million in the same six-month period last year, a decrease of 10.8 percent. Total company operating profit was $0.6 million during the first six months of fiscal 2009 compared to an operating loss of $0.9 million during the prior year-to-date period. Net loss from continuing operations for the first six months of the year was $4.5 million, or ($0.49) per diluted share, versus a loss from continuing operations of $2.8 million, or ($0.31) per diluted share, in the first six months of the prior year.

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