NEW YORK — Demand for its spring products allowed Columbia Sportswear Co. to post double-digit percentage gains in sales and earnings for the first quarter.
For the three months ended March 31, the company on Thursday reported an income gain of 33.8 percent to $20 million, or 49 cents a diluted share, from $14.9 million, or 37 cents, in the same year-ago quarter while sales climbed 22.4 percent to $206.7 million from $168.9 million. Gross profit at $93.9 million represented 45.4 percent of sales. The percentage was identical to the year-ago quarter even though the cost of sales rose by 22.4 percent, in step with the percentage gain in sales.
Tim Boyle, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement, “Columbia again delivered strong sales and operational performance in the first quarter, driven by accelerating demand for our spring related sportswear and footwear products.”
By category, sportswear sales in the quarter jumped 19.6 percent to $117 million, while outerwear sales rose 12.2 percent to $40.4 million. Accessories sales zoomed up by 51.9 percent to $8.2 million, the company said.
By region, domestic sales gained 15.8 percent to $115.3 million, while European sales shot up 33.2 percent to $42.9 million. Even better were other international sales, which skyrocketed 37.4 percent to $26.1 million. Not to be left out of the party, Canadian sales were up 23.8 percent to $22.4 million.
Columbia Sportswear said that fall backlog for global orders rose 12.7 percent to $664 million, and the company expects fiscal 2004 sales to rise 11 to 12 percent.
Income is expected to increase 10 percent over last year. Contributing to the firm’s growth was its March 31, 2003 acquisition of Mountain Hardwear, which added $9.7 million in sales for the quarter.
Boyle said in the statement that the company expects second-quarter revenue growth to be in the 8 to 10 percent range, with income flat versus the same fiscal 2003 period.
— Vicki M. Young