NEW YORK — Propelled by strength in both U.S. and Europe, Quiksilver Inc.’s earnings climbed 21.6 percent in the first quarter ended Jan. 31.
The Huntington Beach, Calif., firm, which owns the Roxy junior brand, earned $4.1 million, or 18 cents a share, up from $3.4 million, or 15 cents, a year ago. Sales advanced 16.3 percent to $99.9 million from $85.9 million, with gains of 18 percent in men’s and 15 percent in women’s.
Domestic sales grew 20.1 percent to $62.7 million from $52.1 million, with men’s sales rising 25 percent to $35 million and women’s ahead 16 percent to $25 million, the firm said on a conference call. Winter accessories made up the remainder.
On the call, management said key U.S. retailers had noted a “significant improvement in Roxy sell-throughs and increased demand during the holiday season.”
Robert McKnight, chairman and chief executive, said Roxy has a “powerful” team with the hiring of Carol Christopherson, formerly general merchandise manager at Miller’s Outpost, as senior vice president of merchandising. That team already includes Lissa Zwahlen, vice president of women’s design, and Dana Dartez, design director.
“We now have the base that we believe will take Roxy to a new level,” said McKnight.
In Europe, sales in French francs increased 25.7 percent, with men’s up 27 percent and women’s ahead 14 percent. France, Spain and the United Kingdom are showing particular strength, management said on the call. Due to a weaker euro, Europe sales grew only 10.3 percent in dollars to $37.3 million. Men’s reached about $35 million and women’s, $2.5 million.
Overall, summer backlogs are running ahead 20 percent in both men’s and women’s. Backlogs are up 16 percent in the U.S. and 27 percent in Europe.
During the quarter, Quiksilver opened up three Boardrider Clubs, including flagships in Boston and London. Another flagship opened in Miami Beach’s South Beach district in late February. The company has 85 stores open worldwide.
Quiksilver also said it acquired Hawk Designs, the maker of the Tony Hawk skateboard apparel line that the firm plans to use to expand into the skateboard market. Tony Hawk, a 12-time world champion skateboarder described by McKnight as “the Michael Jordan of skateboarding,” has signed a sponsorship arrangement with Quiksilver. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the company noted that the business did under $1 million in sales. Other Quiksilver Inc. brands are Raisins, Radio Fiji and Leilani.

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