Under Armour Inc. is working off an ambitious playbook that has it sprinting ahead, bulking up and adding some finesse — all at the same time.
Women’s is seen as a key growth driver at the company, which overall saw revenues rise 34.1 percent in the second quarter.
“Women’s can be as big as if not bigger than men’s,” said Kevin Plank, chairman and chief executive officer, on a conference call with analysts. Women’s already makes up $500 million-plus of the company’s revenues, which last year weighed in at $2.33 billion.
Under Armour plans to shine a spotlight on its women’s business next week with a campaign that includes a TV ad featuring Misty Copeland, soloist with the American Ballet Theater.
“So, yes, it’s a ballerina in an Under Armour ad,” Plank said, making a reference to the brand’s more masculine image.
But he added that Copeland’s rise in the dance community is reflective of the brand and that her “athleticism is overwhelming and will communicate that in a fully integrated way including an online presence markedly different from what we’ve done in the past.”
Plank said athletic brands have long celebrated women on the playing field and tennis courts, but that the conversation is now turning to a broader range of activities, from running and spin to yoga and mountain biking.
Activewear is one of the hottest categories in fashion right now, with looks making the jump from gym to street and, to some cases, taking share from other standby categories, such as denim.
“The growth opportunities for the Under Armour brand are abundant,” Plank said, pointing to not just the women’s business, but also international, connected fitness, direct-to-consumer and footwear.
The company’s revenues for the quarter ended June 30 jumped to $609.7 million from $454.4 million — a result that came in more than $35 million ahead of what analysts projected. Apparel revenues rose 35 percent to $420 million in the quarter.
Earnings, however, just inched ahead. The company’s net profits rose 0.7 percent to $17.7 million from $17.6 million. Earnings per share were flat at 8 cents.
Investors liked what they saw and pushed the stock up 14.7 percent to $69.55 on Wall Street.
Under Armour now expects its revenues for the year to range from $2.98 billion to $3 billion, up from the prior forecast of $2.88 billion to $2.91 billion.