By  on October 23, 2009

Columbia Sportswear Co. saw falloffs in third-quarter profits and revenues, but higher-than-expected U.S. demand helped the firm beat its own expectations, as well as Wall Street’s.

In the three months ended Sept. 30, net income at the Portland, Ore.-based outerwear and sportswear firm fell 19.6 percent to $46.9 million, or $1.38 a diluted share, from $58.3 million, or $1.69 a share, in the 2008 period. Sales slid 4 percent to $434.5 million from $452.4 million.

On average, analysts polled by Yahoo Finance had estimated earnings per share of $1.00, almost two-thirds of the $1.54 they expect for the year.

Tim Boyle, president and chief executive officer, said unexpected demand for fall shipments and favorable international currency rates helped the firm top those estimates as well as the company’s own outlook in July.

“The gross profit from those incremental shipments dropped to the bottom line as we held spending within our original plan for the quarter,” Boyle said.

Sales of Columbia sportswear fell 9 percent in the quarter to $142.9 million while outerwear sales dropped 5 percent to $199.1 million, the company said.

For the nine months, Columbia’s profits fell 42.6 percent to $43.9 million, or $1.29 a share, as sales declined 8 percent to $885.7 million.

Separately, the company increased its quarterly dividend by 2 cents a share, to 18 cents, payable on Nov. 25 to shareholders of record Nov. 12.

During the quarter, Adrienne Lefebre Moser and Kathleen McNally joined the firm in the posts of general manager of apparel merchandising and creative director for apparel, respectively.

Moser was vice president of product, sales and marketing at LaCrosse Footwear Inc. McNally was a design consultant to Columbia and prior to that vice president of design at Lucy Activewear. Both report to Mark Koppes, vice president of global apparel.

Columbia reported results after the close of the markets. Its shares were up 6.6 percent, to $47.75, in after-hours trading.

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