Boots still shine for Rocky Brands: 1Q sales, profit up

Despite industrywide reports of lower outdoor boot sales due to the warm winter and spring, the Nelsonville, Ohio-based parent of Georgia Boot, Durango and Rocky footwear reported its first-quarter 2012 sales and profit up.
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Boots are still in business for Rocky Brands (Nasdaq: RCKY).

Despite industrywide reports of weaker outdoor boot sales due to the warm winter and spring, the Nelsonville, Ohio-based parent of Georgia Boot, Durango and Rocky footwear reported its first-quarter 2012 sales up 1.9 percent to $53.3 million, versus a year ago.

Rocky’s net income increased to $700,000, or 10 cents per diluted share during the first quarter, versus a profit of $200,000 or 7 cents per diluted share a year ago.

Officials said a 6.5 percent rise in Rocky’s wholesale revenue (which accounts for nearly 80 percent of the business) fueled the positive numbers, led by the company’s work and western boot segments. Meanwhile, Rocky’s direct retail and military sales slipped slightly during the quarter.

Company officials said Rocky did have to make some price concessions for a rollout of products to one of its largest national accounts, but it was able to make up the cut margins with increased sales and expense management.

Further insight into the outdoor footwear category will come next week with first-quarter earnings reports from Merrell and Chaco parent Wolverine Worldwide, Timberland and The North Face parent VF Corp, Montrail and Mountain Hardwear parent Columbia Sportswear, Teva parent Deckers Outdoors, Salomon parent Amer Sports, along with Crocs and Lacrosse.

--David Clucas

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