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Columbia Net Soars

NEW YORK — Lower costs and higher sales combined to create record second-quarter results for Columbia Sportswear Co., prompting the company to raise its guidance.<br><br>In a separate development, Pat Anderson has been promoted to chief operating...

NEW YORK — Lower costs and higher sales combined to create record second-quarter results for Columbia Sportswear Co., prompting the company to raise its guidance.

In a separate development, Pat Anderson has been promoted to chief operating officer of Columbia, effective in December. Anderson will succeed Don Santorufo, who is retiring. Bryan Timm will succeed Anderson as chief financial officer. The company has initiated a search to find a successor to Timm as controller.

For the three months ended June 30, the Portland, Ore.-based outerwear and sportswear marketer reported net income swelled 17.2 percent to $7.5 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with year-ago profits of $6.4 million, or 16 cents. EPS easily eclipsed estimates of 13 cents.

Sales for the quarter inched up 2.2 percent to $124.2 million from $121.5 million a year ago. In the U.S., sales tapered down 1.3 percent to $86.9 million and Canadian sales dropped 8.9 percent to $7.2 million. European sales grew 9.6 percent to $14.8 million, while international sales, excluding Europe, shot up 25.4 percent to $15.3 million.

“We continue to see strength in our women’s business and we are beginning to see early signs of improvement in the men’s category across many points of distribution in the U.S.,” said chief executive officer Tim Boyle in a statement.

Columbia now expects to hit the high end of its previous guidance of 2 to 4 cents a share on net income growth in the high-single-digit range.

Also adding to the bottom line were lower costs and taxes. Columbia collected $276,000 in interest expense this year, opposed to paying out $566,000 as it did last year. Moreover, the company’s effective tax rate was 34.9 percent for the quarter, compared with the more customary rate of 39.5 percent.

Overall, for the first six months of fiscal 2002, Columbia reported net income gained 9.7 percent to $16.5 million, or 41 cents a diluted share. That compares with last year’s earnings of $15 million, or 38 cents. Sales grew 3 percent to $267.5 million from $259.6 million a year ago.