SPORT CHALET NET GAINS 45.8 PERCENT
Byline: Arnold J. Karr
NEW YORK — Cold weather and hot scooters pushed profits ahead 45.8 percent at Sport Chalet in the third quarter.
The Los Angeles-based sporting goods retailer registered net income of $3 million, or 44 cents a diluted share, during the three months ended Dec. 31, a penny higher than consensus estimates. This compares with income of $2 million, or 30 cents, in the prior-year quarter.
Sales were up 20.7 percent to $61 million in the quarter from $50.5 million in the year-ago period.
Despite a difficult retail environment during the quarter, comparable-store sales were up 16.9 percent in the quarter. Even excluding the positive impact of strong sales of scooters and winter-related apparel and equipment, comps were up 8.6 percent, according to Craig Levra, president and chief executive.
The third quarter was the fourth consecutive quarter during which Sport Chalet enjoyed double-digit growth in comps.
“Cold weather early in the quarter helped get our ski and snowboard business going, and we effectively leveraged the scooter phenomenon while it lasted,” Levra noted in a statement.
Howard Kaminsky, executive vice president and chief financial officer, told WWD: “The ski business was very tough in 1999 because of warm weather. Ski and snowboard did very well in the quarter, both the equipment and related apparel areas, and that really helped our margins.” Gross margins hit 32.5 percent in the most recent quarter from 31.1 percent in the year-ago period.
For the nine months, net income was up a robust 65 percent, to $6.2 million, or 92 cents a diluted share, from $3.8 million in the final nine months of 1999. Sales rose 25.2 percent, to $158.8 million from $126.8 million, and improved 16.2 percent on a same-store basis.
The company opened two new stores during 2000 and now operates 23 units, all in southern California.