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Ashworth Back in Black in Q2

Initiatives undertaken by Ashworth, Inc. helped lead the designer of golf apparel and golf-inspired lifestyle sportswear deliver a net income of $900,000.

ATLANTA — Initiatives undertaken by Ashworth, Inc. helped lead the designer of golf apparel and golf-inspired lifestyle sportswear deliver a net income of $900,000, or 6 cents per diluted share, in the second quarter, ended April 30.

That compares to a net loss of $2.5 million, or 17 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Sales in the second quarter fell 3.4 percent to $57.8 million from $59.9 million.

“During the past few months,” said Allan H. Fletcher, CEO, “we have faced difficult retail markets, as well as a deteriorating economy, but we have taken steps designed to improve the company’s operational efficiency and inventory productivity over time and we are optimistic about the future of Ashworth.”

Total revenues in the domestic golf channel in the second quarter increased 2.3 percent to $22.3 million from $21.8 million, representing the third straight quarter revenues in this channel have increased, Ashworth said. The increase was driven primarily by higher revenues from on-course golf retailers, but partially offset by lower revenues from off-course and off-price golf retailers over the comparable prior year quarter. Ashworth said it expects to continue to experience competitive pressure and the effects of market consolidation in off-course specialty golf retail.

Revenues for the corporate distribution channel decreased 18.1 percent to $5.4 million. In the retail distribution channel, revenues fell 52 percent to $3.1 million, primarily because of account consolidation, as well as a decision by Ashworth to strategically exit some underperforming doors.

Revenues from Ashworth’s company-owned stores fell 14.2 percent to $2.2 million, largely because of the difficult retail environment. Ashworth’s collegiate/racing channel saw a 20 percent increase in sales to $11.8 million, primarily driven by improved penetration within its NASCAR channel.

And, international business improved 2.9 percent to $13.1 million